Penarth Bakery closed unexpectedly last month. Now the reason for the closure is clear

The sudden and unexpected closure of Penarth Bakery and its associated shop in Cornerswell Road last month have now been explained by the outcome of a court case in which proprietor Gareth Spray pleaded guilty to 28 hygiene offences and 8 offences of failing to comply with hygiene notices.

Cardiff Magistrates fined Penarth Bakery £10,000 and Spray himself was given a 4 month suspended jail sentence and a  10 year ban prohibiting him from managing any other food business.

Gareth Spray with the triple gas oven at the Plassey St Bakery – which has now closed

The case was brought against Spray and his company by the Vale of Glamorgan Council inspectors who found there were rodents in the firm’s bakery in Plassey St .

Penarth Bakery had received a zero food hygiene rating – but had failed to display it on the window of their now-closed Cornerswell Road retail shop – as required by law . Some of the food for sale was classed as “unfit for human consumption”. 

Trays of loaves and cakes  were routinely placed on the floor before being loaded into a waiting van.

When PDN first reported that the bakery was closing down Mr Spray’s father John Spray had said  that the closure for was commercial reasons because of competition from supermarkets and there was no mention of a pending court appearance.

The Penarth Bakery Shop in Cornerswell Road has also now closed

The shop had implemented stricter hygiene procedures and had recently installed notices requiring sgtaff to ensure that some products were stored in refrigerated displays .

District judge Bodfan Jenkins said Penarth Bakery and its proprietor had shown what he called “a flagrant disregard for the law”  and  said the firm had initiated  measures to rectify the position as “too little, too late.”

Master Baker Gareth Spray of Penarth Bakery is now disqualified from working in a food business for 10 years and has had a 4 month suspended jail sentence

Spray was given  a 4 months  jail sentence suspended for 12 months for two offences of marketing food which was unfit for human consumption and was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.  He was fined £200 for 36 offences – £7,200 in total – and must pay costs of £1,400 plus a “victim surcharge” of £115.

Penarth Bakery Limited was fined £2,600 for the unfit food offences and £200 for each of the remaining offences making a total fine of £10,000 plus costs of  £1,400 and a victim surcharge of £200.

Vale Cllr Gwyn John (Llantwit First Independents) who is ‘cabinet’ member for regulatory services, said “the outcome of this court case sends a clear message that firm action will be taken wherever necessary to safeguard the public.”

Many cutomers may wonder however how it was that the bakery was permitted to carry on trading and selling food up until Saturday February 18th    – even though the impending closure (although not the real reasons for it) had become  public knowledge 10 days earlier.

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Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. AK says:


    Must have been those added ingredients that gave the bread its unique flavour that everyone was talking about, when the closure was announced !

  2. Yes it must have been that what gave the bread that something extra , no wonder were gushing and praising the quality of the bread when the closure was first announced .

  3. Hugh says:

    I guess the fines went down like a rat sandwich.

  4. Robert says:

    My sentiments exactly. There’s a reason for the scores on the doors.

  5. Phil says:

    And no doubt he will now either go into liquidation or claim bankruptcy. Very decieving of him to claim the big supermarkets have made him close his business when he knew of the impeading trial. How someone can sleep at night knowing that the state of the premises and personal hygiene may cause illness for the unsuspecting public is beyond me. What a way to end a families history! Discusting and no excuses for it.

  6. Fishhenge says:

    Tut tut, no hairnet, no beard covering, and what’s R2D2’s cousin doing in the bakery?

  7. Sleeve says:

    An ignominious end to a Conerswell Road institution. Completely tainted my warm memories of a cuppa and iced mountain!

  8. Judging by the photos that went with this story the place was filthy , how often was this place inspected ? my guess is never , glad I didn’t sample any of its bread.

  9. Robert says:

    I’d be interested in Bar 44’s comments. If you look closely at the whiteboard behind the dirty baker he seemed to be supplying the above whith his soiled goods.

  10. Score Card Spotter. says:

    It is a Legal Requirement to Display your Food Hygiene Rating Score Card This case might be a wake up call to a couple of local shops partially/hiding their score cards .A quick check of Premises Around Station Approach would be a good starting point.

    • Esarjay says:

      Exactly. No Score Card No Business IMO.

    • :) says:

      Who’s this aimed at? Also most of the people here probably don’t even work or have experiences in the food business, most of the score for scores on the door cards are based on paperwork such as temperature recording and labelling that can all be fabricated for ease/save money as strict rules and they could get a 5 as long as appears clean and depending when they were visited(i.e. Peak times), so just think about that because it’s actually a very bad hygiene rating system so I would take a look at the other shops you think are safe because of their “high score”, I think it’s important people really understand how they work. Just because is run by the government doesn’t mean it’s a good scheme.

  11. CelticMan says:

    Disgraceful and good riddance.

  12. Chris says:

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves. If you knew anything of this family you would know how hard they worked and how circumstances beyond their control have affected their work. Shame on you!

    • June Davies says:

      Are you seriously sticking up for the owners with regards to this story?! What possible reason could there be not to clean up? Hardworking or not that is no excuse for the state these people have left their premises in. Do you not realise how easily the serious effects that could have on many people’s lives? Unbelievable!!

    • Rich says:

      Shame he never put the hard work into cleaning the place, Shame he never put the card in his shop window to give people the choice to buy his food with their hard earned money that was only fit for the BIN.
      He knowingly sold food that can make you seriously ill food poisoning is no joke, he sold it to the young and old and if he got away with it He would continue to sell it.

    • Jane Foster says:

      “Penarth Bakery had received a zero food hygiene rating – but had failed to display it on the window of their now-closed Cornerswell Road retail shop – as required by law . Some of the food for sale was classed as “unfit for human consumption”. ”

      I fail to see how any “circumstances beyond their control” could justify anything in the above comment.

      The shame is on them for covering up their failings in a way that could seriously affect the health of their loyal customers without batting an eyelid.

      The shame is on them for knowingly preparing and selling contaminated food over a growing period of time believing they were getting away with it.

      And the shame is on you if they willingly and actively deceived you in the same way yet you vigorously defend their actions.

    • Jane says:

      “Circumstances beyond their control” – what? Giving the place a damn good clean?

    • Eyes and Ears says:

      The only shame is that he wasn’t caught out earlier. He should have been closed down immediately. He had the cheek to lie to everyone about why he was closing and managed to go out on a high. The shop closing was talked about by many people who were sad to see it go. I for one regret telling people about it. Circumstances beyond their control done stop cleaning and basic hygiene. Well done to the Vale I say.

  13. Rich says:

    Wow surprising how the mighty have fallen, a few months ago he was the best thing since sliced bread.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    At one time he used to leave those orange bread crates outside the bakehouse overnight on the street, for dogs and all sorts to do whatever …….

  15. Tim Russell says:

    Whats the difference between a penarth baker and knight in shining armor…one darts at the foe….!!!!

  16. LJS says:

    What a great shame and a loss of a business to our town. I don’t agree with the ‘hang him, shoot him’ brigade, with all the food hygiene regulations, education and working with a business to improve is the best way forwards. The outcome here is the loss of a business where the outcome should have been the improvement of a business.
    I’m totally in agreement with Score Card Spotter re the businesses in Station Approach and the top end of Victoria Road area.

    • June Davies says:

      Surely looking at those pictures he’s ‘educated’ enough to know that is simply wrong! You don’t need training or education for that. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the place is absolutely filthy. There’s simply no excuses

    • Jane says:

      Eh LJS? On the one hand you’re saying you don’t agree with “all the food hygiene regulations” and on the other you’re “totally in agreement” with Score Card Spotter who has enough time on his/her hands to go scouting round for hygiene ratings. Which is it to be?

      • Score Card Spotter. says:

        Yes Jane being observant of a sign partially covered in a shop gives one cause for concern. I mentioned station approach quite a small area hardly scouting around. Incidentally as a retired fully qualified Food Hygiene Manager. One will always use ones trained eye when Food / Hygiene issues are concerned

  17. Chris says:

    Keyboard warriors unite!

    • June Davies says:

      If only the owners united to give the place a clean. Maybe you can tell them that as you clealry know them or is there something else you’re not telling us? I don’t see you or any of the oweners coming up with genuine reasons as to why the place was as dirty as it was. The photos do not lie. There are no excuses no matter how hard you try to defend!

    • BigPooPski says:

      I’m sure the keyboard warriors who bought food from him and seeing the pics on the Penarth times website of all the dirty machinery that he used to mix dough with and never washed his hands after going to the toilet and put themselves and their family at risk by eating this crap would like to meet up with him.he would have been better off making bread and cakes in Penarth’s public toilet its much cleaning there then his bakery.

  18. Rattus Rattus says:

    my name is Rat,
    and wen its nite,
    or wen the moon
    is shiyning brite,
    and all the men
    haf gon to bed –
    i stay up late.

    i lik the bred.

  19. I know Gareth and his wife (of 20+ yrs) from school and he is even on my Facebook (though he rarely posts..very much “Happy Birthday/ Congratulations type exchanges.. Both ALWAYS struck me as lovely people. The fact that up until this trial verdict was public knowledge EVERYONE was singing the Bakery’s praises suggest strongly to me that he has been stuck with a bit of a “white elephant” and that maybe this type of bakery business simply has had it’s day. I don’t know what “circumstances beyond their control” Chris refers to but from what I know of them and their business I suspect there are a lot of mitigating circumstances.

  20. BigPooPski says:

    I had a summer job working there back in 1977, It was spotless back then the bakers wear white trousers white jacket and a cap the William bros owned it and they ruled it with a rod of iron, it was always busy they ran two shops.Looking at the pictures of the baker now if looks filthy the baker looks like he’s just been working on a building site.

  21. BigPooPski says:

    Just seen the pictures on the Penarth times website these pictures are tame compared to them

  22. Robert says:

    Pure thilth. So where are you lot how sang his prasies going to get your jot cross buns from now?

  23. Robert says:

    Spelling mistakes! What I meant to say was…. So where are you lot now, thoses who sang his praises going to get the extra special hot cross buns this easter from?
    At least the filth has stopped baking.

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