please empty your brain below

I often get the impression that small artisan shops get all the love but people still buy at supermarkets. And when closure is announced those people are sad and buy token stuff. If this could change anything...
I'm sorry to say I'm part of the problem. I used to go regularly for our bread requirements and the ad hoc iced bun, as well as when it was my turn on the Friday work cake run. They even supplied our wedding cake. Now however regretfully the supermarket bakery has upped it's game with (to us) tastier options as well as competitive prices. Apologies.
A call at the branch at Watney Market used to serve as a 'reward' when a visit to the London Hospital had been undertaken. The scale of reward reflecting the level of 'brave boy' endurance shown. By no means the level of support needed to keep a chain afloat. Sad to see it go, though.
Supermarkets are better. Not sorry.
Testing times, awful.

I’m not holding out much hope for the “Cards Galore”’ chain, either.
There is a family owned chain of bakers in the Reading area, Warings, that appears to have thrived during lockdown as people avoided supermarkets. Why did Ingles close during lockdown? Might have saved them.
Oh no, how will I tell when I’m passing from East London (Percy Ingle) to North (Wenzels)? When I was on my travels, I used to buy the occasional pasty from Percy Ingle - they were nicer than those from Greggs, but more expensive. The virus put paid to traipsing around obscure bits of town, and this is another thing I’ll miss when we get back to “normal”.
I used to get ham rolls occasionally from the shop in Stratford Mall, but sadly for Percy Ingles Greggs opposite had better rolls.
As sad as the loss of good bakers has been, I'd put Ingles in the category of mass-produced bread rather than artisan bakers. I tried their bread once, a long while back, and wasn't very impressed. Since then all the good old bakeries in East London seem to have gone, LONG before Ingles.Now we have very expensive 'designer bread' shops
Although I am a West Londoner born and bred I have often been into a Percy Ingles. There was also a year when I lived in Forest Gate (wanted to see what East End life was like) and would have a snack and a tea in Ingles with a blind accordionist after he had finished busking in Stratford. I knew they were closing, sorry to see then go.
It's always sad to see jobs and businesses go. That being said, I think my opinion of Percy Ingles is that it was "better than Greggs". Which is damning with faint praise.

Hopefully south London/north Surrey get to hold on to Coughlans, they're pretty decent.
I still miss the Percy Ingles (deliberately spelled to reflect its pronunciation) in Whitechapel. The replacement Greggs just isn't quite the same, which is probably something to do with the ever-present queue of slightly aggressive delivery drivers which always demands attention ahead of the actual queueing customers. Who the heck needs a fiver's worth of baked goods couriered to them? Fond memories of sitting in the slightly ropey 'restaurant' area at the back with all the other people who have nothing else to do with their day... Just like the caff in Crewe bus station on any weekday.
This is terrible news, I've been buying my multiseed GI loaves from Percys for years. It's delicious and stays fresh for days, think it has lindseed oil in it. Supermarket bread goes stale in a day. Might have to buy a breadmaker. I just can't face a dystopian supermarket visit every day.
I'm going to have to agree with several of the above comments – they might have been better off hiring a consultancy to improve their bread rather than their signage. It's shame when any local traditional business goes, but their products simply weren't very good (or very cheap). Sorry, Percy.
I always thought the were called Perry Ingels!
Like others I buy my bread from a supermarket (I find it will usually last for several days) and my visits to bakers are usually confined to looking for a tea and ideally a slice of bread pudding on a day out. Sadly the latter is becoming harder and harder to find, but thank goodness for Greggs, where most branches continue to offer it.
Worst bread news since Benjys sandwich chain closed. Bought by a private equity firm, who didn't know how to run it.
According to Wikipedia, Greggs started in 1951 and made a conscience decision to move out of 'just being a baker' as recently as 2013 (although it was a much larger company by then), so the business could have adapted.
The branch in Crouch End has been closed since mid-March.

Local rumour right at the beginning, before the lockdown, was that there was a Covid-19 outbreak at their main bakery site which meant their shops had no deliveries and so had to close.

Had no idea the rest of the chain had since reopened, even more shocked to find they've now closed again.
A bit like wafting the aroma of freshly-baked bread around a house when trying to sell it, the scents from a bakery seem to make an area seem more pleasant. It's one of my memories from visiting my Grandma on Newland Avenue in Hull, which DG may well be familiar with.
Loved Percy Ingles; their cream cakes were streets better than Gregg's. The rebranding was a terrible idea and did more to sink them than the virus did. Kossoff's, a marvellous bakery at either end of Wood Green High Road, did the same and it wiped out both branches. Much missed!
I hope Wenzels, the north west London equivalent, is still in good health. It's the best bread in town and is one of the few independents I bother to frequent.
The Woolwich branch has gone in the last few days. Their poppy-seed bloomer was streets ahead of the dry loaves in Asda etc and I shall miss it.
I rather like the retro, red and cream look in the first photo. Can see why they wanted to hold out with that one.

And look at those Northerners, coming down here and replacing our bakeries! The ‘Greggs-ification’ of London continues it seems.
Evidently, the fiver or so I spent in the Woolwich branch on my first (and now only) visit in mid-June was far too little far too late.
My mum never rated the bread from Scott’s, so we always had to go to the Percy Ingles at Hackney Wick, always a queue out of the door.

I would go into my local one at Elm Park to get some filled rolls for lunch on my way to watch cricket, a lot cheaper than buying lunch at the Oval.
Oh what a shame. I hate to see long established businesses go under, though I don't know how any of them can survive these days with the high rents and online shopping boom!
Shame. The branch at Watney Market was always worth a visit. It's tragic how many local names disappear all the time...
You've missed (English) Madeleine's off your list of sweet treats; when we went down to Tottenham to go to the bank or the butchers I'd ask Mum if we could pop in to Percy's for a Madeleine. Or, sometimes when I came home from school she would have picked one up.
Went back to the one in Tottenham the other day as I was passing; couldn't find a Madeleine, but settled for a doughnut instead.

dg writes: They no longer sell them.
A great chain I will miss their presence, but... their image has been slightly soured for me recently by having read they had a ‘no blacks’ hiring policy in the 80’s.
My sympathy for those who've lost their jobs. But I'll not miss the brand - the few times I bought bread there I was very underwhelmed.
Sad to see a long established business name disappear, but to be honest they hadn't moved with the times so they were out of date and frankly not as good.
Our local Lidl sells a very good range of excellent newly baked bread.
No wonder we have so many empty shops. Your shop rentals are quite cheap in comparison to here but of course not taking everything into account.
Tastes and time changes - I went from being an Ingle regular to a rarity and back again over several decades. Some products worked, others didn't. It depended where I was whether I bought anything Ingle. Clearly not often enough near the orange and green, especially on days out.
For a significant numbers of years I have lived within close proximity of a number of the Percy Ingle stores. I have never been in one having no need for any of their products. I also have no need of similar products in supermarket aisles, other 'artisan' shops and street markets. Just sorry to see there will be yet another vacant store on the high street.
Wasn't really a fan of the new branding - I love the charmingly old-fashioned "teas" sign with the teapot, and the fact that no two branches looked quite the same. Loved all the photographic displays of bread and cakes on the walls above the shelves too, which always looked like they had been there a fair few years. Has anyone spotted any branches that are still open now?
When I worked at Birkbeck and was teaching in Stratford of an evening I would treat myself to a steak bite en route from the station. Even ten years ago it felt like something from a different era.
"In 2000 Percy's son Derek took over"

...and resisted the temptation to rebrand as 'DIngles'
I thought the Ingles marketing was quite smart - I think it could have helped, were it not for a pandemic.

What's helped Greggs the most was realising the importance of the lunchtime crowd, and the profitability of sandwiches and filled rolls. Ingles only ever had a small range (and pretty disappointing on the vegetarian front too) that would never be much of a draw.

I'll miss their saag aloo pasties though, they were a nice recent innovation.
A large bakery cannot survive if it has no direct retail outlets.
A few years ago (I think it was on their 60th anniversary in 2014) they produced a booklet: 'A Family History of Percy Ingle'. It carries the same photos that are on their website, plus some information on how they made their products.
Perhaps I've missed it but I can't see the Nags Head Holloway branch anywhere in the rental list. I suspect it would be somewhere in the middle. Only one I used to frequent occasionally back when I lived nearby. I recall it being quite close to the now also defunct M&S.

dg writes: Not all the former stores are on the market.
A really sad loss for the East End. Their bakery such as cakes, bread pudding and sausage rolls was really on point back in the day. Even my grandma was still buying their bread before lockdown.

The turning point was their considerable price increases. I didn’t have time for breakfast once, and when I went to one of their bakeries on my way to work, I was horrified that their sausage rolls increased to £1.30. This was last year, and I hadn’t been in one since.
We used to be supermarket bakery shoppers but since lockdown have looked closer to home to a local non artisnal (ie reasonably priced) bakers. We ring in the mornings to secure an order and pick up later in the day.
I'm now feeling a bit guilty that we never considered them in the past.
One small bonus of lockdown for us and the bakers. They're doing a roaring trade.
Interesting that Wanstead isn't on the rents list - maybe that is one they owned. I think Wanstead is a great example of the combination of issues that did for them:

1. They sold traditional bread and bakery products, which meant they did lose a lot of custom to the supermarkets, as their core client for those is very price sensitive.

2. They were also hit badly when Greggs expanded so rapidly and often just a few doors away, as in Wanstead, as there was a lot of overlap in the filled rolls / hot pastries area which is normally a higher margin product.

3. Despite all the bad news, Wanstead High Street is actually doing quite well, and has benefited from a new demographic in the area who will walk to a high street to buy products in independent retailers. However, they demand a contemporary range of products - which is why Gails is always busy - but sadly this is not something Greggs have offered. The rebrand was I think an attempt to tap into this younger market, but the products just didn't match up - these days it is about your sourdoughs and rustic baguettes, not white bloomers and crispy rolls.

I will miss them though - no idea where I will find bread pudding again!
Like others, Percy Ingles were a staple of childhood, especially for birthdays (their chocolate gateaux with the alternating choc flake and violet sugar flower adornments, along with their butter icing fancies were my very favourite baked treats and fondly remembered. Haven't been able to find photos online of these delicacies, so will have to dig out the childhood photos instead).

The Watney Market branch, which we visited on our weekly shopping trips as children has sizeable seating, just hope it doesn't end up as yet another cheap fried chicken place. But I haven't been past one in years so hadn't realised they'd rebranded. Sad, but not unexpected to see them go under.
Leyton's Percy Ingle has also closed.
(it was never Ingles-ised)

Bake at home prices:
• 3 sausage rolls £2.45
• 2 cheese and onion lattices £2.50
• Bread pudding £2.35

Cake prices:
• Victoria sponge £2.95
• Black Forest gateaux £5.95
• Peanut butter gateaux £6.25
Ahh man

I though the rebranding might have saved them....but the goods didn't really adapt so it does not surprise me even though i loved their Tottenham Cake, that they went under....Greggs is more appealing/ upto date even if it tastes artificial.

I saw the Ingles on woodgrange road had closed in Forest Gate. I guess with the impending new development which is going up in rocket time and the church being redeveloped it was only a matter of time.

I was really suprised at the rent in the stratford centre, i agree its due to the footfall. I always used to walk past and not see many people in there to cover the rent thats for sure.

They should have gone down the route of the cafe's instead of some chairs shouved in the corner. Kind of reminds me of the demise of Wimpy that is still clinging on.

Hopefully someone will buy the brand and revive it.
£65k a year rent on the Lewisham branch. Even without Covid it's got to have been a huge struggle to turn a profit with that sort of overhead. That level of rent will now be unsustainable in places like Lewisham. But what's the likely outcome, cheaper rents or boarded up units?
Yes their bread went from must-have to tell you what, let's spend the money on a couple of tarts instead. Jam ones.

Humans are lazy buggers and it only needs to be nearly as good in a supermarket and we'll cave in. Then the Ingles of this world adjust ingredients, sizes, price and range and the taste's not the same so even fewer customers venture in.

Yes bread pudding! Likewise a couple of pennies from gran for a pair of penny mice and the sun suddenly shone brighter. We're all the poorer for the loss of these. How dyou sell the idea of Bred Pud to a marketing executive for a big chain?
Few bakers exist now. A bloke in a white hat behind a dreary store's counter can't tantalise the taste buds like approaching the bakery does/did. Supermarkets are designed with piped to the front door freshly made bread smell. But where's the layered mix of sausage rolls, lemon curd and raisins?
A post on a local Facebook group claims that the High Road Leyton branch is reopening next week.

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