THE tried and tested recipes of Blackburns Bakers have made it one of the most popular businesses in St Helens, loved by generation after generation.

In 1942, Blackburns the Bakers launched as a family-run business dedicated to offering fresh and high-quality products along Cambridge Road in Newtown.

It was first opened by current owner Mike Blackburn's grandmother, and after his dad came home from "fighting the Nazis", he took over the reins of the budding bakery.

Mike, now 75, had his first job in the shop in the early 1960s, and although much has changed since this time, the family's tasty recipes have continued to attract queues of customers for the past 81 years.

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St Helens Star: Owner Mike Blackburn, who first started work at Blackburn's in the early 60sOwner Mike Blackburn, who first started work at Blackburn's in the early 60s (Image: St Helens Council)
Speaking about the business and how it has fared over the years, Mike said: "We always use the best, high-quality products because we don't want our reputation to drop. We often say we buy the best to make the best.

"I don't like to say it, but we were very lucky during covid because we were one of the few businesses that stayed open and we saw a lot of people who had never been in before.

"There has been changes and we don't see the same early morning queues or as much of the older crowd, but we are always busy and we're getting busier too."

St Helens Star: Blackburn's was voted as the Star's 'Best for Pies' this yearBlackburn's was voted as the Star's 'Best for Pies' this year (Image: St Helens Star)
Highlighting its respect in the community, Blackburns was voted 'Best for Pies' by Star readers earlier this year, and is consistently rated as one of the best places to grab a fresh pie or butty in St Helens.

Delicious family recipes and a commitment to quality are part of the reasons for this continued success, but a sustained investment and a diverse offer have also helped to grow the bakery's reputation in the community.

Blackburns is still in the same unit as it was 81 years ago, but as Mike shows me, the team has invested in top-of-the-range catering products and extended the building in two directions so that staff can create enough products to meet the growing demand of customers.

With some of the team starting as early as 5am, this means that enough pies, pastries, sandwiches, and cakes are made fresh every day to satisfy hungry Sintelliners.

St Helens Star: The bakery is also well known for its cake selectionsThe bakery is also well known for its cake selections (Image: Trip Advisor)
Mike added: "We don't shout about ourselves very often but we know we're doing something right if we're still getting queues out of the door.

"We have put a lot of things into place to make sure we're doing things right, so it's just about keeping things as they are and keeping our reputation up."

St Helens Star: The bakery has been in the same unit since 1942The bakery has been in the same unit since 1942 (Image: St Helens Star)