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Purebread, Whistler’s beloved bakery, acquired by Coho Collective Kitchens

Company aims to extend bakery’s reach, and will keep team on at its six existing locations
Purebread counts six locations across B.C., including its original Function Junction store in Whistler.

Whistler’s beloved bakery, Purebread, has been acquired, adding another chapter to a story that began in Paula and Mark Lamming’s kitchen more than a decade ago.

In a release Monday, May 29, it was announced the homegrown bakery has been acquired by Coho Collective Kitchens Inc., the Vancouver-based food technology and commercial real estate company that provides private and shared kitchen and food production space to a variety of businesses.

With the partnership, Canada’s largest shared kitchen space operator plans to extend Purebread’s reach and expand the bakery’s brand presence across the country.

“Purebread is extremely excited for this new chapter alongside Coho. With their unwavering support and resources, Purebread is ready to spread our love for delectable treats to an even wider audience,” said co-founder Paula Lamming in the release.

"I just turned 61, Paula is 63, and we want to get on and enjoy the rest of our lives while we still can," said co-founder Mark Lamming in a follow-up interview. "We are at a point where we are just about to open at [the Vancouver International Airport], so that’s our seventh location and I think there’s a desire within our team to have more opportunities and potential for growth and that wasn’t something we were really motivated to keep going with. When we linked up with Coho, their philosophy, their attitude, their ethos, everything seemed to gel. They’ve got a really solid idea of what they want to do with their own side of the business and also how to integrate Purebread into that and take it to the next stage." 

The purchase agreement provides for cash consideration of $10 million, and the issuance of 1 million common shares of Coho, with an aggregate value of approximately $220,000. 

Purebread will continue to operate as a separate entity, with its own operational and management team. The Lammings, who have increasingly stepped back from the business over the past year and a half, will stay on to assist Coho through the transition. 

Coho said it would provide support in areas such as marketing, sales, and finance to assist the company in developing new markets.

"We are thrilled to welcome Purebread into the Coho family," said Coho’s CEO, Andrew Barnes, in the release. “Through this acquisition, we strive to expand the Purebread brand's presence throughout Canada, leveraging Coho's established network to propel the bakery forward. We acknowledge the incredible hard work and passion undertaken by the Purebread team to establish the brand and the business, and now, we aim to grow its reach.”

It's been quite the journey for the Lammings, the Kiwi founders of Purebread, starting from selling their bread at local farmers’ markets in 2008 to today counting six locations across the Sea to Sky and Lower Mainland, including two in Whistler and one in Squamish. Known for their premium ingredients, decadent baked goods, and artisanal craftsmanship, Purebread consistently earns rave reviews and accolades, including Georgia Straight’s Golden Plates awards.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we think that anyone would buy anything that we would make, but there you go," said Paula in an interview. "It’s been such a fun ride. We've met so many great customers and staff and we will miss it."