Fringe Box



Shock as Hoxton Bakehouse Closes in Market Street After Less Than a Year

Published on: 28 Mar, 2023
Updated on: 30 Mar, 2023

By Hugh Coakley

There was shocked reaction to the sudden closure of the Hoxton Bakehouse shop after only nine months open in the town.

It opened “with a bang” in June 2022 in Market Street but closed today (March 28) without warning, leaving customers stunned.

The empty closed Hoxton Bakehouse in Market Street today.

“The first I heard about it was when I came this morning for bread” said one. “It’s really sad,” said another. “It just shows how competitive it is out there.”

A typed sheet in the shop window from Darren Bland, founder of Hoxton Bakehouse expressed regret for the closure saying: “It has been a real pleasure baking bread and roasting coffee for the good people of Guildford.”

The company’s website still shows the Guildford branch as operating, highlighting the speed of the shop’s demise.

Notice bluetacked to the shop window announcing the closure.

There are reports the company has had difficulty in getting local staff to the shop, the most northerly of their eight branches.

Staff in the store this morning blamed competition including from Ole & Steen, the hugely popular bakery and cafe which opened in December 2022 close by in the High Street, and Black Sheep Coffee in North Street.

But these are not the only new cafes or restaurants opened in the town in the last year.

The cafe rush includes Deli Italy in The Shambles, Jo and the Juice and Fallen Angel in the High Street, Gordos Mexican and Itsu Asian fast food in North Street. Additionally, Megans and the Coppa Club are soon to open in the High Street.

A Dragon reader complained saying: “It would seem that High Streets are now just food and drink outlets”, questioning whether the right balance is being struck in the retail offering in the town. But there is little control over which types of business open where.

Sean Parrott, director of the Hoxton Bakehouse group said: “Over the last three years Hoxton Bakehouse have opened eight retail units across the South of England, the majority of them in the last 18 months. We were always aware that, as with most retailers, some sites or geographical areas don’t always work for a particular brand or offering.

“Following an internal review of the performance of the Guildford store, and the competition presently in the area and arriving, our conclusion was that we would be better served to focus our attention on the other stores in the estate, and use the extra production capacity released as a result to service our rapidly expanding wholesale business.

“Staffing throughout the leisure industry as a whole has been challenging for some time, however we are very fortunate with our team at Hoxton’s – having to say goodbye to our Guildford employees was the worst aspect of the decision to close.”

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Responses to Shock as Hoxton Bakehouse Closes in Market Street After Less Than a Year

  1. Ross Alexander Reply

    March 28, 2023 at 9:05 pm

    Sad for the staff, but on the basis of the Guildford store I’m honestly surprised they’ve stretched the lurid pink franchise to eight branches.

    Consistently off service and bad food. Would struggle to recommend over Gail’s or Ole & Steen even when the queues for either are down the road.

    The far more disappointing loss to Guildford’s high street was independent coffee shop Koja which closed without any fanfare last month.

    An underappreciated but genuine competitor to some of the chain offerings in town – could have taught Hoxton Bakehouse a thing or two about cinnamon buns, too.

    • Joe Taylor Reply

      March 29, 2023 at 2:45 pm

      Koja moved to New House Art Space behind Casino but it looks like they weren’t able to make it work and have closed down according to a post on their Instagram last month.

  2. Keith Parkins Reply

    March 30, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    I am not surprised at all.

    I have never visited the one in Guildford but I have the one in Winchester.

    I cannot comment on the bread or baked goods. The coffee was very poor quality. Not the fault of the barista. Poor quality beans.

    Their rapid expansion did not appear sensible. You should not open in somewhere like Guildford without understanding the local market.

    For those who are content to drink poor coffee there are the corporate chains and greasy spoon cafes masquerading as coffee shops. For those who appreciate good coffee there are Koja and Krema.

  3. Pete Knight Reply

    April 3, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    Feedback I heard was poor – my brother mentioned to me they were in Farnham when I mentioned they were opening in Guildford – he offered no praise.

    Not sure who would want to have a coffee and cake next to a skull and cross bones neon pink light – nothing to do with Gails or Ole and Steen.

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