Joseph Engel was of German descent; his parents had moved to England in the late 1800’s and put down their roots in East London, where Joseph was born.
Around 1910, Joseph and his wife
Kathleen owned a German bakery in Clarence Road, Hackney.
Kathleen’s father – also from Germany – had been a baker and undoubtedly had a hand in sharing the craft of artisan baking.
It wasn’t long after that the war broke out in 1914. During this time, there was a hostile attitude towards the German community in London, which resulted in violent attacks on homes and businesses belonging to these families.
The Engel bakery was sadly destroyed in a riot one night by mobs, where windows were smashed and the contents looted.
Soon after the war, the Engels changed their name and became Ingles and a young man named Percy Ingle was born.
Post war London was a tough and uncertain time, especially for the working class in London. However, baking was a way of life for Percy Ingle and his three brothers, who – whatever the economic or social conditions – worked tirelessly from a very young age in the family bakery.
Together with their father, they were at the heart of the community, providing quality bread and cakes in East London. It was here that Percy found his passion in the craft of baking and knew the next step was to own his own premises.
Having married his wife Lillian and already proud father to his son Derek, Percy opened his first shop in Clarence Road, Hackney in 1954.
Percy was a shrewd businessman with real entrepreneurial flare, which played heavily to his strengths. From the ingredients he sourced to the techniques and recipes he developed, baking was his passion and by the early 1990’s Percy had built the company portfolio to over 40 shops.
In 2000, Percy handed control to his son Derek, who had been working in the family bakery since his early teens. He too was a master artisan baker and took the reigns with vigour, sustaining the integrity and traditions of the brand.
In a time of huge change for the high streets of Britain, Derek continued to grow the shop count, whilst developing new and exciting products to share with customers.
After growing to 50 stores and managing the business for a further 10 years, Derek passed it on to his two sons Paul and Micheal.
Today, Paul Ingle heads up the bakery in East London where his team continues to bake fresh produce each night, however, he takes most pleasure leading the food development team who are continually bringing new and exciting products to market.
Michael on the other hand, heads up the daily operations at the shops where he will be found making regular visits, talking to customers and overseeing the staff.