Our story

Find out more about the history of The Greggs Foundation and our journey so far

Two pupils smile whilst eating watermelon at their breakfast club

The Greggs Foundation has grown from a small grant-making trust into a charitable foundation awarding in excess of £4m in grants every year. 

Supporting charitable causes has always been part of the Greggs DNA, evident from the early days of the free pie and peas suppers in 1960s Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  Now, The Greggs Foundation supports individuals, families and community organisations all over the UK with grant programmes which really make a difference.

Our history is long, but our impact is strong throughout the communities we support.

An old black and white newspaper clipping of a pie and peas supper ran by Greggs
CEO Roisin smiles and waves with pupils and teachers from the 800th breakfast club school

A brief history of The Greggs Foundation

  • 1939

    Greggs is established as a door-to-door bakery round. It sells bakery products to many of the mining terraces in Newcastle and surrounding areas

  • 1951

    The first Greggs shop opens in order to expand the range of menu items on offer. The first shop was bought on Gosforth High Street for £7,750!

  • 1964

    Ian Gregg takes over the business and starts to develop the in-shop bakery concept

  • 1967

    The first recorded 'pie n peas' supper event for older residents in Gateshead (pictured above). Greggs begins to develop a reputation as a company with community at its heart

  • 1983

    The first ever Greggs sponsored Children's Cancer Run at Gosforth Racecourse, which to date has raised over £5 million to support Children's Cancer Research

  • 1987

    After hundreds of requests for support each week, the Greggs Charitable Trust was established as a family charity to support local hardship. The charity was given gifts of cash and shares to respond to local need

  • 1993

    After six years of small grants, a major grant of £15,000 was awarded to Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

  • 1994

    Greggs opens its 500th shop

  • 1994

    The Hardship Fund is established, with the collaboration of local trusts to support families and individuals in significant need in the North East.

  • 1997

    The Greggs Trust, as we were then known, celebrates its 10-year anniversary, with donations totalling £1,768,000 in a decade

  • 1999

    Thanks to a Business in the Community event, Greggs sees the difference a nutritious start to the school day makes to children. As a result, the first Greggs Breakfast Club is established

  • 2003

    Collection boxes are introduced to Greggs shops to raise money for local charities. Divisional Charity Committees are established to distribute the donations. Over time, this becomes the Regional Grants programme, still available today

  • 2005

    The 100th Greggs Breakfast Club provides a nutritious breakfast for schoolchildren

  • 2006

    Greggs raises £70,000 for BBC Children in Need in the first year of supporting the appeal

  • 2009

    Greggs Trust becomes The Greggs Foundation, the logo changes and a new mission statement reads: 'making a difference to people in need at the heart of our local communities'. We now run five grant programmes; North East Core Funding Grants, Local Community Project Fund Grants, Hardship Fund and Breakfast Clubs, with other fundraising initiatives raising over £1.8million per year

  • 2010

    Following a national competition involving our Breakfast Club school pupils, Hope is selected as The Greggs Foundation mascot

  • 2011

    The total raised for BBC Children in Need exceeds £1million for the first time ever

  • 2012

    The Greggs Foundation celebrate our 25th anniversary

  • 2013

    The Greggs Foundation hits a major milestone, opening the 250th Breakfast Club

  • 2015

    The 350th Greggs Breakfast Club is opened

  • 2016

    The Greggs Foundation launches its Environmental Grants Programme using the funds from the carrier bag charge

  • 2016

    Greggs Breakfast Clubs reach Northern Ireland and the 400th Greggs Breakfast Club is opened

  • 2017

    The Greggs Foundation celebrates 30 years of supporting our communities

  • 2022

    The Greggs Foundation launches its first ever free education programme for Greggs Breakfast Club schools with Rethink Food – The Agents of Change

  • 2023

    The 800th Greggs Breakfast Club opens its doors in Bradford