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Shares Trader brings in the bread

July 7, 2020

Buying a bakery

Dan Burke & his girlfriend Toni are swapping bonds for buns.

Share trader brings in the bread. A city shares trader is swapping bonds for buns as he buys his own bakery in the heart of Hackney.

Dan Burke, who was looking for a change of career after working for 14 years trading shares, saw Charles Bread artisan bakery in Hackney as an ideal opportunity to try his hand at something new.

He purchased the shop through business broker Hilton Smythe Business Sales and was trained by the one of the bakery’s two previous owners, Thomas Mathiassen, throughout lockdown, preparing to open when government restrictions were lifted. Thomas retained a 10 percent share in the business and is acting as a mentor to Dan.

Charles Bread was established in 2016 and specialises in Danish breads and pastries, such as cinnamon buns, rye bread, almond Danish, choki Danish and olive focaccia. It has become a popular haunt for many carb-loving locals.

Buying a bakery

Dan & Toni.

Buying a bakery

Serving up a taste of Denmark to the people of Hackney.

Not wanting their loyal bakery-fans to be without treats during lockdown, the previous owners remained open throughout, as well as operating a delivery service to customers while training up Dan and his girlfriend, Toni. They also introduced a 50 percent discount for NHS staff, in order to try and help key workers at the two local hospitals.

Hilton Smythe Business Sales has seen a surge of potential entrepreneurs during the lockdown searching for businesses to buy once life returns to normal. Several buyers have used the time to consider new careers, including becoming their own boss.

Interested in being your own boss then get in touch with our sales team

We respect your privacy and will never share your information. By completing this form you are consenting to Hilton Smythe to store your information for processing this enquiry and sharing information with our group of companies and partners in relation to this enquiry.

Dan Burke said: “I knew I wanted to change my career, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. A couple of years ago I thought I’d really like to try my hand at baking, and when I saw Charles Bread, I decided that was the one for me.

“We were very fortunate because the previous owners are experienced in teaching people to make their amazing products, and they were more than happy to show us the ropes. Thomas has been amazing, and while we’re nowhere near Paul Hollywood-level bakers, we’re definitely able to produce some delicious and attractive goods.

“It was such a busy time because many shops weren’t open and bread is a necessity, so I think it was helpful for the previous owners to get an extra pair of hands while I learned on the job. It was a baptism of fire but an amazing way to learn.

“Karen at Hilton Smythe was great in answering our questions and helping us get prepared for the sale. It was really easy and we’re already serving up a taste of Denmark to the people of Hackney.”

Gareth Smyth

“Bakeries are a fantastic community business, people love freshly baked bread and treats. During the lockdown, many people enjoyed receiving deliveries from local businesses to cheer them up, and bakeries have been incredibly popular.


“We always love the stories about previous owners who pass on their craft to the buyer, as it continues the story of the business and gives the seller confidence the business is in safe hands. Thomas and Dan have built up a great relationship and I’m sure the customers of Charles Bread will benefit from that.


“Everyone at Hilton Smythe wishes Dan and Toni the very best of luck in their new endeavour. We hope to sample some of their goods ourselves soon.”


Gareth Smyth, CEO of Hilton Smythe Group

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Interested in being your own boss then get in touch with our sales team

We respect your privacy and will never share your information. By completing this form you are consenting to Hilton Smythe to store your information for processing this enquiry and sharing information with our group of companies and partners in relation to this enquiry.