A BELOVED bakery chain which claims to be the oldest in Cornwall is set to close two branches within hours.
Warrens Bakery, with more than 40 outlets, will pull down the shutters on two of its stores by the end of tomorrow.
In a blow for pasty fans, it is closing branches in Victoria Square, Truro, and Meneage Street, Helston, staff told The Sun.
The chain, which claims to be "Cornwall's oldest bakery" and the oldest Cornish pasty maker in the world, has one other branch in Truro in Quay Street.
Customers in Helston will have to travel to Penzance, Hayle, Camborne or Falmouth to get a pasty after the branch there closes.
Paul Denham, retail director for Warren’s Bakery, said: “As a growing retailer across Cornwall and other counties, we continuously assess our sites for ongoing profitability and viability.
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"Occasionally, when long-term leases end, we face very challenging decisions.
“Regrettably, on this occasion, two stores (Truro Victoria Square and Helston) will close at the end of this month, having been unprofitable for some time."
Mr Denham added staff will be moved to other stores across Cornwall "wherever possible".
It's not all bad news for the chain though – the chain recently opened two new branches in Barnstaple and Darmouth, Devon.
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It also has plans to open "further" stores over the next six months.
Warren's Bakery opened its first branch in St Just, Cornwall, in 1860, with its Cornish pasties and saffron cakes quickly earning fame among miners, farmers and the local community.
It now runs over 40 bakeries across the West Country and in South Wales, offering everything from brownie boxes to Cornish hampers.
Previously a family-owned business, in 2012 it became a limited company after attracting outside investment.
The news of the two closures comes after Greggs opened a branch in Cornwall, last December, adding to its portfolio of two existing outlets.
But plans at the time to open more branches in Truro – close to Warrens Bakery – sparked fury among local residents.
One raged: “This is the first major battle in full on war. It is an invasion on our capital.”
Another said: “Never have my custom when there is proper pasty shops down the road."
It's not been a good year for some bakery chains – Le Pain Quotidien crashed into administration in July, closing all but one of its stores.
Meanwhile, in June, Scarborough-based bakery Cooplands closed nine of its shops as part of an "in depth" review of the business.
But it's not all bad news and some chain's have announced they will be opening branches.
Huge fast-food chain Dunkin' Donuts is planning to double its store count in the UK over the next two years, expanding its portfolio from 30 to 60 branches.
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Meanwhile, Wenzel's the Bakers is opening nine new locations by the end of 2023.
That's not all – the Cornish Bakery, which has over 50 stores across the UK, is in the process of opening five new stores.
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