The Warburton family
“What do you call a dog made out of bread?” Fozzie Bear asked in one Warburtons’ Christmas television advertisement. “A crumb-pet!” The commercial, promoting a plus-size version of the Bolton-based bakery’s famous teatime treat, featured Miss Piggy in a clinch with company chairman Jonathan Warburton, 59, described in the advert as “Mr Giant Crumpet”. Straight-talking Lancastrian Warburton, who calls money “brass” and speaks of eating beans on toast, has lately splashed out on high-profile festive marketing campaigns. Before the Muppets there was Sylvester Stallone playing an uncompromising delivery driver. The brand has grown from humble roots in 1870, when Thomas and Ellen Warburton opened a small shop, and is now Britain’s second-biggest grocery brand by sales. Jonathan and his cousins Brett, 61, and 58-year-old Ross are the fifth generation to run the family business, which has 12 bakeries and 14 depots, and employs more than 4,500 staff. In 2014-15 it made £34m profit on £574m turnover.