It’s widely considered the best place to get a Manchester tart and has been for decades, but as of December Failsworth bakery Robinson’s will be closing its doors.
First established in 1864 the business has survived two World Wars, the Covid-19 pandemic, and a quarter million pound energy bill at the start of the cost of living crisis.
It’s a properly Mancunian, family-run business and has been for over a century, but its owners have now made the decision to close up shop for good after trying and failing to sell the business.
For decades, Robinson’s has widely been considered the best place to get a Manchester tart – comprised of a shortcrust pastry shell spread with raspberry jam and custard filling, topped with flakes of coconut and a Maraschino cherry.
Ever since the traditional pudding’s inception, Mancunians in the know have flocked to Robinson’s for the goodies.
Now, though, that all looks like it could change, despite the business being “busier than ever.”
A statement shared on Robinson’s Instagram page on Monday morning announces that the bakery will close its doors for the last time on 16 December 2023.
The statement, signed by the owners’ daughter Grace Robinson, talks about how the business has stretched across three generations of the family and how their shared passion for baking has shaped their lives.
The full statement reads: “It is with great sadness I am writing this to inform you as of 16th December 2023 Robinsons Artisan Family Bakery will be closing its doors.
“We put the business up for sale earlier this year. This was due to several factors, but the overwhelming factors were the economic crisis and the ever-increasing cost of energy, utilities, and never-ending spiralling cost of ingredients.
“Sadly, as of now, we have not been able to sell the business, therefore we have had to make this very difficult decision. We will open for the last time on December 16th.
“Established in 1864 and passed down through six generations, I feel extremely grateful to have had the past 23 years’ experience being taught to be a baker and a business owner by my grandad Arthur, and my dad David. As a kid it was all I ever wanted to do, and to this day I still love being a baker, it really is my passion.
“I am thoroughly thankful to our whole team who have helped to make our bakery shop what it has grown to be, and I wish them all success in their journeys going forward.
“Until 16th December our shop will be open, and we will keep our shelves stocked for our customers. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of you for supporting us through two world wars, two recessions, a Great Depression, covid, multiple supermarket and fast food chains opening closer and closer and many more obstacles. Unfortunately, the struggles of 2023 have proved to just be too much.
“The greatest of thanks goes to my parents who finally get to retire. I think they have stuck around for so long because my sister Emma, and I were so passionate for our family business to survive and thrive.
“We almost made it to 160 years.
“Thank you for reading. Grace Robinson”
Featured image – Robinson’s Bakery
New Michelin Stars to be announced from Manchester in another major coup for the city
The extremely prestigious Michelin Guide has chosen Manchester to host next year’s announcement ceremony.
The restaurant guide awards hospitality businesses with what’s considered by most to be the most reputable accolades in the world – Michelin Stars.
The announcement of which restaurants are receiving new Michelin Stars typically takes place down in London – but they’ve chosen to come to Manchester for 2024.
It’s another major coup for our city and a testament to the city’s ever-evolving cultural scene, joining tomorrow’s Chanel fashion show in the high-end brands hosting events here.
The Michelin Guide confirmed that it would be using Manchester’s iconic Midland Hotel to host the 2024 announcements on 5 February 2024.
Michelin famously snubbed Manchester for decades, with its spotlight passing straight over us the the city remaining star-less for more than 40 years.
So maybe this is their way of making amends (we’ll take it), or it’s alluding to some new stars for our city’s restaurant scene, with tonnes of newcomers making waves in the city.
Restaurants who could be in the running to receive a Michelin Star including The French (which is inside The Midland Hotel), Where the Light Gets In in Stockport, Higher Ground, Erst, and The Sparrows.
The event will also be broadcast live, with the new selection launching immediately after the event on The Michelin Guide website and app.
As well as the Michelin Stars, other awards including Green Stars (celebrating sustainability in the restaurant industry) and Special Awards (celebrating industry professionals) will also be presented.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of The MICHELIN Guides, said: “We are honoured to be bringing our celebration of the finest British and Irish gastronomy to the welcoming and ever-evolving city of Manchester.
“The historic Midland Hotel – a long-standing jewel in the city’s architectural crown – is a venue befitting of the occasion. The MICHELIN Guide team are busy preparing an event that will do justice to the exceptional skill, dedication and hard work found across our industry.”
You can get a festive lunch for just 99p from Deliveroo this week… but it involves sprouts
We were going to call this a bit of a Marmite dilemma but we just realised that sprouts already have their own love-hate thing going on; either way, you can sort your lunch from just 99p for the rest of this week through Deliveroo, but it does involve the controversial Christmas dish…
The famous festive food is on almost every dinner table during the holiday period whether the people sat around it like them or not — that’s just the cultural existence this divisive vegetable has enjoyed for centuries — but have you ever heard of a ‘sprout butty’ or, more importantly, would you like to try one?
Deliveroo Editions, the purpose-built delivery-only kitchen service that is popping up all over the UK, are looking to win over sprout-haters this winter by coming up with its own take on the Christmas classic.
It is estimated that around 1.5 million Brits have a phobia of the leafy little round veggie and while more than half of the North West (52%) hate them/think they are the worst part of a Christmas dinner, there’s one kind of food that pretty much everyone loves: a simple sarnie.
With that in mind, Deliveroo had the idea to bring the two together in an effort to reinvent the troublesome green and have created the ‘Christmas Sproutwich’ and it’s exactly what it sounds like and more.
Consisting of homemade sprout focaccia, sprout mayonnaise, a “succulent” sprout stuffing, roasted sprout halves like you’ll see on December 25th, fried sprout shavings and zesty marinated sprout leaves, the sandwich has sprouts in every component and is hoping to elevate their reputation this Christmas.
The beauty of this thing is that it also just goes to show how much you can actually do with the humble little sprout, and with plenty of time to get inspired before the big day too. To be honest, ever since we started cooking them in lots of butter, herbs and bacon, we love the little buggers.
Now, while Deliveroo are obviously not the only people to have put a twist on sprouts or even create a sprout sandwich, even — Bundobust’s sprout butties and bhajis are legendary and have just returned for their 2023 Christmas menu — we never thought we’d come across ‘sprout mayo’. It’s already earned some fans though:
While they do get a bad rep from time to time, the latest research from the delivery service suggests that roughly three in five (62%) North Westerners believe a Christmas dinner isn’t complete without sprouts and although the majority of us (36%) hate them, around 32% love them.
The question is, will you love the Christmas Sproutwich? You can order yours just in time for your dinner break — or whenever you like, to be honest, we’re not the boss of you — for just 99p via the app or by simply typing in ‘Deliveroo Christmas Sproutwich’ online HERE.
Available in just a few cities (Manchester being one of them) and lasting only until Friday, 8 December, this could be the moment you switch sides in the great sprout debate. Let us know your verdict as well; we want to see just how far you sprout love/adventurous appetites go.
This recent creative promotion isn’t the only one we’re big fans of either, as an Ancoats institution is holding a great offer in aid of those in need this winter.