Bakers Tailoring, one of Teesside’s most long-established names, has enhanced his growing reputation by receiving a leading wedding industry award for the quality of its menswear.
Bakers was hailed as Wedding Menswear Supplier of the Year for the North-East and Yorkshire in the prestigious Wedding Industry Awards.
Bakers has been the name Teessiders have turned to for more than 100 years, having been established as merchant navy outfitters since 1911.
But in the 18 short months since moving two doors along and doubling their space at their new home at 166 Linthorpe Road, Bakers has hit boom time.
The business has recruited five new staff to meet a fast-increasing demand that has seen them treble their turnover in the past year alone.
Managing director Paul Smith says news is spreading as they establish their reputation as the North-East’s leading menswear wedding specialists, with grooms, best men and fellow guests flocking to their Middlesbrough store from as far afield as Newcastle and even Berwick.
Working with some of the world’s finest suppliers of cloth, Bakers make, sell and hire suits for all occasions.
From off-the-peg suits from just £195 to a groom’s made-to-measure three-piece costing £2,500, Bakers cover all spectrums and budgets.
Local lad Paul has made the climb from the firm’s youth trainee to managing director during 38 years of tailoring on Linthorpe Road, all but six of them spent with Bakers – the rest as Psyche’s tailoring manager.
“Bakers is my life,” he said. “I still love it, I still thrive off it. We’ve based our success on providing quality at affordable prices, specialising in providing made-to-measure and off-the-peg wedding suits.
“Tailoring is a dying trade but we offer service, knowledge and experience that fits everyone’s needs. But quality is the key.
“Winning the accolade as the region’s best menswear wedding supplier endorses what we already believed and tells us that our hard work is paying off. To also finish in the top five for the entire country left us walking on air.
Smith has been the tailor to the stars over the years including football heroes such as Fabrizio Ravanelli, Juninho and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. When Middlesbrough Football Club – Ravanelli, Juninho, Bryan Robson et al – reached the 1997 FA Cup final, it was Paul who ensured their suits sparkled on the Wembley pitch before the match as much as Boro’s famous red and white shirts did during it.
And when a new band of local heroes performed miracles to reach the UEFA Cup final in 2006, it was Paul’s company, Bakers, that the club turned to for made-to-measure suits to match the prestige of the occasion.
But, whilst the groom’s big day remains the cornerstone of their business, Paul is increasingly looking to the workplace as Bakers’ next big market.
He said: “We’re not known for our business suits like we should be, but we’re now targeting that market.
“We can take the pain out of looking for a new made-to-measure business suit for anyone who is time-precious by visiting their home or workplace, day or night. We show them the cloths, designs, styles, fit them up and get them delivered in four to six weeks – faster if they use express delivery.”