Originally a bakery had operated on the site at 37 Clarendon Street run by the Friendly Bread Association. They were a co-operative baking venture and were taken over at the beginning of the 20th century by the Urie family, who formed the City Bakeries into one of Glasgow’s leading chains of bakeries and tea-rooms. The premises were greatly extended in 1926 and by the end of the 1930s the firm had more than sixty branches and around 1000 employees.
The City Bakeries was extremely innovative for the time, drafting proposals for a profit-sharing scheme as early as 1914 and generally known for looking after their staff. It was claimed that Staff Welfare was as great a concern for the company as profit.
The Company ran a recreation ground with putting green, bowling greens and tennis courts. There were social events, theatre outings and a crafts club. They laid on holiday camps and instruction in “physical culture” and gave extra holidays for perfect timekeeping (for which more than 60% qualified!). A good personnel and welfare department was very unusual for the time. The factory was always clean and employees were supplied with decent uniforms. In later years a union was formed and maintained good relations with the management.
Their main building was round in St George’s Road, and this had a restaurant that could be hired out for functions.
The building has now being converted into flats.