SUNRISE BAKERY FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
As Britain emerged from the devastation of World War II, the colonies were invited to help rebuild the “Mother country” and promised the chance of “a better life”. Amongst the first to respond was the now named ‘Windrush Generation’ from the Caribbean, who came in their thousands by ship and plane from 1948 to 1971.
Many disembarked in the south of Britain, finding employment as bus and train drivers, conductors and nurses. Others realised that opportunities existed in the factories of the industrial Midlands and the cotton mills of the North.
Herman Drummond and William Lamont were two such men who chose to make Smethwick, Birmingham their home. They found work on building sites and in factories and joined the growing Caribbean community.
Unfortunately, racial tensions and discrimination at work meant the ambition for a “better life” was near impossible to fulfil. Bank loans were not available to immigrants from the Caribbean and so after much saving and sacrifice, in 1966, Herman and William decided to open their own business.
They rented a small room behind a row of shops, off Bearwood Road in Warley and bought enough of the necessary ingredients to begin Sunrise Bakery.
Within fifteen years they purchased the Bakery’s current site in Smethwick, Birmingham and later extended to cope with growing demand. Delivery routes expanded across the Midlands, then to London and the South East, Bristol and South West, Manchester and Yorkshire.
The next generation of the two families began work at the bakery. Sons Patrick and Tony Lamont and Errol Drummond were responsible for introducing new manufacturing processes and overseeing the geographical expansion.
The Lamont family exited the business in 2009 and Errol Drummond became Managing Director, continuing the expansion, along with his son Daniel Drummond, into the major supermarkets.
Today Sunrise Bakery is proud to be the largest Caribbean bakery in the UK and products are available in selected supermarket stores for Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons. Products can also be found in over 150 independent stores.
Written by Errol Drummond, Managing Director, Sunrise Bakery.