Fosters bakery was started in 1952 when Emily Foster and her daughter Betty opened a transport café in a disused blacksmith’s shop in the tiny Yorkshire village of Mapplewell. Throughout her life Emily had not been able to go to work as she had to look after her parents this allowed her to develop her baking skills. As tribute to her expertise her father enrolled Emily for a cake decorating course in Leeds. At the age of 23 Emily married Arthur Foster in 1929, at her wedding she not only made her own wedding cake but also did all the catering for the reception. It was not till 20 years later before Emily and Arthur decided to go into a business and set up a bakery. However with only £40 of savings they set themselves a huge task. They were offered a disused old blacksmiths shop free of charge. Arthur and his son Donald were excellent handy men and so fitted out the shop as a bakery.
There was no big entrepreneurial dream for Emily, just a desire to bake the best food and serve it with as much friendliness as it was possible to give, an ethos still to be found in the company today. Emily's daughter Audrey had leaflets printed advertising that the bakery's bread and cakes were now going to be distributed to home in the area. However transport was an issue of this idea. Donald solved this problem by buying some old cars from a scrap yard that needed lots of work doing to fix them up.
As her baking became more popular she added a further oven and expanded capacity to near bursting point until September 1959 when the limited company was founded and a new bakery built on Blacker Road, Mapplewell. Very shortly after that the company had a mobile shop, which stood on Barnsley’s famous Market Hill, three days a week. With the acquisition of two other bakeries in Barnsley the company expanded its number of shops and, through recommendation the number of commercial accounts also grew.
In 1971 the bakery moved to its current location on Towngate, Mapplewell. This bakery was expanded in 1980, 1990, 1997, 2016 and 2017. Here at Fosters we no longer run any shops but instead focus purely on commercial customers, servicing some of the UK's best known pubs, restaurants, airlines and much more.