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Saddler’s Sales Hit by Lack of Sporting Action

As football returned to Germany’s Bundesliga at the weekend, famous Forfar bridie shop Saddler’s is counting the cost of sporting events in Tayside being on hold.

The long established Angus family baker said the impact of the coronavirus has been huge.  Not only has it had to close its two tearooms, but the loss of wholesale revenue is taking its toll.

Michael Saddler, who has run the firm with his wife Morna for the past 15 years, said “We have also lost wholesale sales.  We supply the local football and rugby clubs, the council and also have various catering contracts for firms in the town – all closed, or semi-closed with the lockdown.”

The firm’s sales are currently mainly over-the-counter and they have had to put two staff on furlough and reworked the hours of the remaining employees.

“We also continue to provide a delivery service, which has proven very popular,” Mr Saddler added.

“We normally have a very healthy tourist trade, which has been effectively killed with the restrictions on movement.  I am sure most of the retail firms in the town are all in the same boat and I would not be surprised if some do not open again.”

“We hope there will be a bounce-back effect once this is over – the public will want to get out there again and do the things they did before.”

Saddler’s, which has a workforce of 18, was founded in 1897 by William Saddler, the great-grandfather of Michael.

An older family member remains a familiar face at the firm – Michael’s father, Sandy, still comes in to help despite being 84.

Mr Saddler said: “This business is in my dad’s blood.  He has been working here since he was 15 and isn’t stopping now.  We are very much hands-on ourselves and are always here to keep a grip of everything that is going on in the business.”

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