Lady Patroness rises to her new role

Karol Roberts, one of the Roberts Bakery family, is to take up a special role as Patroness of The Royal Cheshire County Show.

Karol, who is head of product development at the famous bakery, has been invited to become Lady Patroness following many years of support for the show.

As Patroness, Karol’s duties will involve acting as an ambassador during the show, as well as meeting with many hundreds of people who help stage the two-day event on June 23 and 24.

One of the first events she has attended this year is the Cheshire Agricultural Society’s Annual General Meeting which took place at Astbury Village Hall earlier this year.

“Last year’s Patroness Elisabeth Forster, who is the Bishop of Chester’s wife, was also there and was full of enthusiasm for the role, so it was really nice to be able to have a chat and find out more about what to expect,” said Karol.

“I’m now looking forward to the privilege of seeing parts of the show that I never knew existed, as well as meeting the many people that put the show together and make it such a special event.”

This is a bit different from the ‘day job’ where she heads up product development at one of the North West’s biggest bakeries!

Karol trained as a food technologist and began working at Roberts Bakery 35 years ago – seeing it go from strength to strength.

The Northwich site has continually expanded and has recently opened its third bread plant this year. The site also has a sweet treats factory, The Little Treats Co, which produces gingerbreads, chocolate clusters, rocky road and other biscuits.

Roberts Bakery, which has factories in Northwich and Ilkeston, now produces two million loaves a week and employs around 900 people.

Karol’s own role has also evolved over the years and she currently works on product development, particularly of the new speciality breads offered by the company.

She explained: “We put a lot of effort into sourcing the best raw materials to produce quality products and there is a clear link between the two.”

As well as her work, Karol is married to Mike Roberts, who is deputy chairman of the company, and the two also have three children – Simon, 27, Tim, 23, and Fiona, 20.

The family live in Cheshire and are always keen supporters of the community – including the Cheshire Show, with Roberts Bakery as a long-standing Principal Partner of the Show.

Karol explained: “The Cheshire Show is very special to us as it is held in the heartland of our area and gives us the opportunity to meet people who eat our bread every day! It’s a really important opportunity to be in direct contact with consumers, rather than just our distributors or shops.”

Nigel Evans, Cheshire Show’s Executive Director, said: “We are delighted that Karol has agreed to take on the role of Lady Patroness – Karol and the Roberts Bakery family have been great supporters of the show for many years and so we are looking forward to a wonderful few days.”

This year’s Cheshire Show takes place on June 23 and 24 on the spectacular 260-acre showground, at Tabley, near Knutsford.

Each year around 80,000 visitors attend to enjoy the event. Attractions include: thousands of horses, cattle and dogs featuring in competition events, Creamline Dairies Main Ring, vintage machinery, a Farmers’ Market, Countryside Experience with Birds of Prey, traditional and modern rural crafts, floral displays, Sainsbury’s Agri-Centre, and a host of celebrity chefs at the Roberts Bakery Food Hall.

All this and over 600 trade stands spanning an incredible five kilometres.

To purchase your tickets for this year’s show visit www.cheshirecountyshow.org.uk.

Also keep an eye out on the Roberts Bakery Facebook page for a chance to win tickets in the run up to the show. Visit www.facebook.co.uk/RobertsBakeryUK