Thomas of Helmsley.
Image Source: Nick Hill
Nick Hill

Family-run bakery invests £750k in transforming Helmsley deli

Thomas the Baker, the family-run craft bakery, is set to invest more than £750k in the rebuilding and refurbishment of its Thomas of Helmsley delicatessen.

The work will also lead to a consolidation of the two Thomas’ stores within the North Yorkshire town.

The existing Thomas the Baker shop, which is currently based opposite the deli on Helmsley’s Market Place, will relocate to within the newly revamped store.

The store already incorporates a butcher, greengrocer, cheese and deli counters, alcoholic and soft beverages and store cupboard items.

Work is now underway, and is expected to be completed in September.

The building was known to have become a butchers in 1870 under the ownership of the Strickland family. Prior to this it was run as the ‘Golden Lion Hotel’.

Thomas the Baker has now owned the business since 2010.

Along with the securing of walls and foundations, a refurbishment of the building is being undertaken, including new deli and butchery counters, a rear extension and a new rear roof.

As well as incorporating the bakery, which requires the fitting of several ovens, the company plans to offer more ready to eat meals, resulting in the need for larger cooking and food preparation areas.

The upstairs staff rooms will also be completely overhauled, including offices, meeting room and social areas.

Thomas the Baker was established in 1981, with the opening of a Bakery in Malton, followed on by the Helmsley opening a year later. The business now operates 33 shops across Yorkshire.

All of the teams currently working in both Helmsley stores will remain employed.

John Thomas, founder of Thomas the Baker, said: “As an organisation, our Bakery and head office is in Helmsley and we live just seven miles away and therefore the town is very close to our hearts.

“The time was right to invest in sorting out the many problems that arise when you own such an old building, and that gave us the opportunity to really think about what we wanted the deli to become.

“The lease was up on our bakery shop across the road, and so it seemed like fate that the two should be joined together, making it even easier for our customers shopping in Helmsley, and creating a fantastic one-stop shop.

“We’ll have a significantly wider range of food and drink, and our specially created kitchen in a new outbuilding will allow us to prepare more ready-to-eat foods, such as fresh soups and family quiches, as well as cook-at-home ready meals such as stir fries and lasagne.

John added: “Of course, as with all our bakeries, we will also be cooking bread, pastries and pies on site, ready to be enjoyed. We’ve had so many ideas, but in the past the limited facilities have held us back.

“Now we’re looking forward to a new era and some exciting new products for our customers. Customers will also notice a more modern, fresher look, with improved signage and exteriors, which will look lovely within the beautiful setting of Helmsley’s Market Place.”

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