The West Cornwall Pasty Company

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West Cornwall Pasty Company
FounderKen Cocking & sons, sisters Victoria and Sarah Barber
Number of locations
Area served
United Kingdom
OwnerSamworth Brothers Edit this at Wikidata

The West Cornwall Pasty Company (styled as West Cornwall Pasty Co.) is a fast food chain in the United Kingdom specialising in making and selling pasties. The company was established in 1998 and has been owned by Mark and David Samworth since 2017.[1][2]


The West Cornish Pasty Company was launched in 1998 by Ken Cocking, a serial entrepreneur, along with his sons, Arron and Gavin, and Mark Christophers.[3] The first store was opened in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and the firm was initially financed by family and friends.[4] After nine years, Cockings sold the company to its management for £40 million in October 2007.[5]

At the time, the company had four hundred staff in 55 establishments of various types.[5] By July 2013, it was reported to employ around 450 staff in eighty locations, including eighteen in London.[6] The pasty was originally a portable meal of meat and potatoes in a pastry case, made for tin miners in Cornwall to take underground. The modern range has expanded to include lamb and minted peas, chicken, and spicy chorizo.[4]

In April 2014, the private equity house Gresham, the owners of the company, put it into administration, blaming its failure on the government's decision to charge VAT on pasties. The company was subsequently sold to another private equity fund, Endless, backed by Danny Mills, former Leeds United F.C. and England footballer, and others. Losses were reduced by expanding the company's range and by taking a more targeted approach, concentrating on outlets such as railway stations and sports venues. The firm boosted the range of own brand coffees that it sells, to try to get each customer to spend more in each transaction.[7]

Endless sold the business in 2017 to Samworth Brothers,[8] who already owned the Ginsters pasty brand. At that time there were 33 shops and 19 franchises at motorway service stations.[9] The company states that its pasties are still made in west Cornwall.[10]

In what was described as a temporary measure, all the company's shops closed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]


  1. ^ Warnes, Sophie (2015-03-25). "Buy these 11 things and you are unwittingly funding the Tories". mirror. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  2. ^ "Ginsters' £100,000 government donation during 'pasty tax' – British Baker". Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  3. ^ Barton, Lyn (12 April 2014). "Jobs saved as troubled pasty firm snapped up". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b Butler, Sarah (11 April 2014). "Former footballer Danny Mills helps save West Cornwall Pasty Company". Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b Murchie, Kay (12 October 2007). "West Cornwall Pasty Co sold for £40 million". Investment Markets. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  6. ^ "West Cornwall Pasty Company - About Us". West Cornwall Pasty Company. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  7. ^ Anderson, Elizabeth (6 January 2016). "West Cornwall Pasty Co reins in losses following administration". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Samworth acquires West Cornwall Pasty Company - British Baker". Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  9. ^ Bradshaw, Julia (3 January 2017). "Samworth Brothers gobbles up West Cornwall Pasty Company". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Cornish Soul". West Cornwall Pasty Co. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Covid-19 - Temporary Closure". West Cornwall Pasty Company. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 2020-09-03.

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