THE chairman of York Retail Forum has “put his money where his mouth is” and taken on a new venture in the city with a fresh take on a popular Italian bakery.

Phil Pinder and business partner Adam Scott have taken over Via Vecchia in The Shambles, rebranding it as Pinder and Scott.

The bakery has won awards and attracted a loyal customer base for its freshly baked artisan bread, and supplies restaurants and delis across the region.

Jim Hardie, who took over the Via Vecchia business from its original founder Alistair Lawton in 2015, will continue to run the wholesale side of the business, baking bread on site, while Mr Pinder and Mr Scott are heading the retail side.

Mr Pinder, who owns nearby men’s accessories shop Cuffs & Co in the Shambles, and is chairman of York retail forum, said: “We have built what we are doing around the bakery that already exists.

“The shop has traditionally always been popular in the morning when the bread if first ready, and often sells out.

“We’re looking to stretch the trade out into the day with a wider offering with fine foods and gifts from Yorkshire.

“We’re also launching a website, where people can shop online, and order their bread fresh for the next day.”

Mr Pindar said he and Mr Scott, who owns neighbouring business Shambles Sweet Shop, came up with the idea over a pint at a meeting of the Shambles Traders Association when they heard the business was up for sale.

He added: “This is me putting my money where my mouth is and saying retail in York is doing well and is here to say.

“We are practising what we preach, showing how to take a business on, adding online elements and creating new trade.”

The completion of the lease of the shop, which trades from a Grade II listed property, was handled by York-based Barry Crux & Company.