A GREAT SANKEY man will be pursuing his bakery shop dream that will provide opportunities to all.

Having seen his children and younger brother persecuted in the street for having special needs, Martin Smith wants to make his soon-to-be new bakery in Latchford a place that provides opportunities for all.

The dad-of-three, who plans to open The Bakery Outlet in the former Sandwich Shop on Knutsford Road, said: “It’s always been evident that for two of them, they have special needs.

“When they vocalise, they have been persecuted in the street so many times and people try to take the mickey out of them. It’s really upsetting.

“There are restricted opportunities for them.

“My younger brother is autistic and he has been persecuted because he struggles with speaking, holding a conversation or knowing what to say.

“If I’m going to open a bakery, I want to have something inclusive to all.

“Immediately it’s not going to involve my children too much over the next few years because they are still young as they move into adulthood, it’s somewhere they can feel privileged, wanted, valued and part of a team.”

Martin, who lives in Great Sankey with his family, wants to provide work for the town, also offering employment opportunities to adults without additional needs.

He added: “They can do a job that maybe other people wouldn’t make available to them and I feel that is the right way forward.

“I’ve been speaking with my children’s schools and what I found was when children get up to school-leaving age, they can be restricted with the opportunities available to them.

“The school has a café there where the children can learn skills and the staff have said about how much the children feel valued there.

The project has been a dream of Martins for a while

The project has been a dream of Martin's for a while

“I was thinking about if I did a full revamp, I could speak with schools and take some of the children in for a couple of hours per day or per week to give them something where they feel part of a team, feel valued and do something that they might not otherwise do.

“Other people might take it for granted but for them, it’s a really big thing and it benefits them in so many ways."

This idea has come about after he started an online bakery due to the coronavirus pandemic in August last year.

Martin's first order came from France and his next one was to Los Angeles. Before Martin knew it, he was running a global online business.

“It was going back to my roots as a new business venture.

“Once someone left me feedback, my orders seemed to go really crazy.

“It got to December last year and all I kept doing was doing was shipping cakes several times per week with FedEx.

“I found that people were buying cakes from me left, right and centre so I started making alcohol versions which flew off the shelves and it kept going from there.

Warrington Guardian: The Bakery Outlet delivered cakes across the world over ChristmasThe Bakery Outlet delivered cakes across the world over Christmas

“People have also asked for other cakes and before I knew it, I was doing wedding cakes too.

“It’s something I really enjoy and I find it therapeutic.

“Because they were doing so well online, I was running out of space at my home to do my baking and I thought I need to either pursue this or another income.

“I decided to pursue it and my wife said ‘you should have a look at a premise because everyone thinks that your bakes are fantastic and you should make something out of it’.”

And because it has been so successful, has since secured the Knutsford Road premises to take it to the next level.

Martin moved from Dundee as a teenager and although he didn’t find the opportunities here to pursue at the time, now, he has the potential to bring the full bakery treatment to town.

“My long-term plan was to bring the traditional bakery idea to England for a variation of goods," continued Martin.

“I don’t like my home city in Dundee but the one thing I always miss was the food because of the number of options that you have.

“Here you have a few cakes and a couple of hot items whereas up there you can buy anything hot or cold and they do really well and I wanted to replicate something similar here.”

Martin hopes that residents can get behind his campaign

Martin hopes that residents can get behind his campaign

Martin has plans to do a couple of classes a week for three-four people on how to make and decorate a cake so they can develop some skills and have a tangible end result.

He also may look to partner with academies to offer courses with an end qualification for people to use to build on.

“It’s just to give them more opportunities because at times they can be quite restricted. A lot of children with additional needs fall off and don’t go on to do many things and I don’t want my children to end up in that situation in years to come.

“Whilst I’m making opportunities for them and other children, it involves them more in the community.

“I’d like to eventually grow it to have more shops locally so the more shops I have, the more opportunities I can provide for people with additional needs and without them, who are looking for employment opportunities in the community."

To complete a full refurbishment of the building, Martin has launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hope that residents will get behind his idea and bring it to life.

“It would be fantastic to be supported. I’m not trying to campaign and ask for money where people see no benefits. When people donate money, I can put rewards on it such as a 12-month discount at the shop.

“They would get more back from discounts than what they have spent on their original donation so they feel like they are getting something back.”

Donations to the Kickstarter campaign can be made here.