Fourth generation Dorset baker Steve Oxford is to be keynote speaker at a family business event being held in Blandford next month. Chartered accountants and business advisers PKF Francis Clark is holding a Family Business Connect event at the Crown Hotel in the town centre on Tuesday, February 11. 

It is the latest in a series of dedicated family business events being organised by the expanding South West accountancy firm as it looks to bring together family businesses of all shapes and sizes. Steve, whose family business, artisan English bakery Oxford’s is based at Alweston, near Sherborne and dates back to 1911, will share some of the secrets of its success, longevity and family values. 

James Robinson, Managing Partner at PKF Francis Clark’s Poole office, said: “This event is aimed at family businesses of two generations or more. “It gives an opportunity for them to share experiences and for focused discussion around issues that are unique to working in a family business. “The Dorset region is predominantly made up of businesses owned and managed by families and employing a high percentage of the county’s workforce. 

“As a long-standing specialist provider in the field of family business advice, we work closely with these businesses and are passionate in our support for them, as advisers and not ‘just’ accountants. “However, running a family business can be a hugely complex process, with many different relationships and issues to take into account which are not always present in a non-family enterprise. 

“Our Family Business Connect events give families a chance to not only share experiences but learn from each other, current, previous and future generations.”

Oxford’s story began in 1911 when Frank and Olive Oxford bought the village bakehouse in Alweston, which had already been standing nearly 100 years. The ovens used today were installed in 1921 and the firm’s largest dough mixer is the last working one of its kind in the world and is 75 years old. 

Steve, who is known as the original ‘on stage baker’ will give an insight into how Oxford’s have adapted to move with the times while keeping traditional family values – now also offering lunches, bakery courses and demonstrations. 

He said: “We are very much the original artisan bakery. We’ve been baking since 1911, during world wars, supermarket dominance and through times where baking was just not fashionable. “We’ve harnessed the skills and techniques that other bakeries crave, to give you a premium quality product, from a bakery with real heritage – and I want to share some of the secrets of our success with other family businesses.” 

The PKF Francis Clark Family Business Connect event at Crown Hotel runs from 4.30pm and includes a talk entitled ‘It pays to plan’, break-out groups, networking opportunities and a two-course dinner. All family members involved in running the business are welcome to attend. 

To reserve complimentary place(s), please contact Chris Baker by email at or on 01202 663685 by Monday, January 20. PKF Francis Clark which has eight offices across the region and celebrated its centenary last year, Founded in 1919, PKF Francis Clark has 57 partners and a team of more than 700 employees in offices across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, recently opening their eighth office in Bristol.

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