This struggling bakery was in danger of closing - but then something amazing happened

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 16 Aug 2017

A bakery owner who has been struggling to pay her bills has had a much needed reprieve after a customer issued a plea on Facebook for customers to buy from her store.

Since the recession hit in 2008, Sofija Fisher, 62, who runs Haagensens Bakery in Princes Avenue, has been hit by plunging profits and a drop in customers.

In recent months, she has taken as little as £50 a day and a few weeks ago, she was forced to make her baker redundant.

To compensate, Mrs Fisher has had to work up to 17 hours a day and feared whether her business would survive.

However, after concerned customer Simon Newby urged his friends on Facebook to use the bakery, she was shocked to find loaves of bread flying off the shelves.

Mrs Fisher said: "He is one of my regulars who comes first thing every Saturday morning and buys a few breadcakes.

"When he came on Saturday, he asked if I was on my own and I explained that I had to let my baker go because I couldn't afford to pay him.

"He then said that he wanted to try and put the word out there on Facebook to try and help me out but I didn't think it would work.

Sofija has had her bakery in Princes Avenue for 22 years

"But on Monday, we completely sold out and I wasn't prepared for it at all.

"I was very surprised because Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually really quiet. I don't really look at the shelves but I couldn't believe it when there was nothing there.

"I was obviously really happy but I was also quite worried because I had no stock left!"

Mrs Fisher opened up her beloved business in 1995 and has enjoyed many successful years in Princes Avenue selling a range of baked products, including steak pies, brownies and Cornish pasties.

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However, she suffered a rapid change in fortunes nine years ago in the recession.

She said: "We were doing fine and we were really busy but then the recession hit.

"Things just stopped for a while and it took me a long time to get things started back up again. Then we decided to put the prices up and that lost us even more customers.

"It has had a massive impact and some days it has been unbelievable to the point where I don't know how I've managed to get through the day.

The plucky businesswoman is now hoping that customers will keep on coming to her store

"Some days it is so quiet you get hardly anybody coming in and the last two Mondays I've only been making £50 a day and I pay my staff more than that on a daily basis.

"I've been struggling to pay the bills for a long time. I know that I'm never going to be rich and it's all about survival."

Although Mrs Fisher has enjoyed a recent upturn in fortunes, she wants it to continue in the weeks and months to come.

The entrepreneur believes that her freshly made products taste better than what people can buy in the supermarket as she encouraged people in Princes Avenue to support local independent businesses.

READ MORE: Customers lapping up chance to get milk fresh from East Yorkshire farm's vending machine

"The area in the last six or seven years has really suffered," she said.

"I think there are more people renting than owning houses and the landlords keep bringing in new people who have different shopping habits.

"Everything in store is freshly baked and I keep my prices low because I want them people to come in and enjoy my products.

"I am absolutely overwhelmed and happy and I promise to do my best to keep this businesses going."

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