Indie Harrogate cafe unveils new expansion

The owner of one of Harrogate's leading indie cafes has been talking about the reasons behind its new double expansion - and what role it might play in the town's flourishing cafe economy.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 2:26 pm
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 2:31 pm
Paul Rawlinson, the director of Baltzersens Ltd, on Oxford Street in Harrogate.

The same week in which it announced plans for a wholesale bakery, Baltzersen's has also revealed it is also taking over the shop unit on Oxford Street vacated by Harrogate Traditional Sweet Shop which closed recently.

Paul Rawlinson, the director of Baltzersens Ltd, said: "The thought behind expanding into baking our own bread is that it’s a complimentary activity to the existing business that allows us to improve the quality of what we’re already offering at the same time as accessing a new market.

"But I’ve alway loved bread and this next chapter of the story it’s another case of our family history repeating itself.

"My father worked as a baker in Norway shortly after leaving the Army, and he’s told me many stories of his time out there."

The Scandinavian-inspired cafe, famous for its cinnamon buns, has baked pastries and bespoke cakes from scratch at their Oxford Street site since the business opened in October 2012.

The business's new bakery will be located at Kettlesing but Paul hopes it will play a role in Harrogate town centre as a whole.

He said: "The kind of bakery I want to create doesn’t exist in Harrogate, so I feel like I’d like to be part of creating it.

"We very much hope to be speaking to lots of our colleagues in the Harrogate food scene to ask if we can help them with their bread supply.

"In particular we’re interested to find out if some of the larger hotels, restaurants and other organisations will be willing to consider trading a national supplier for a local one."

Oxford Street has been the home of Baltzersen's for the last seven-and-a-half years, but Mr Rawlinson said it would be there for at least another nine years due to a new lease signed in 2019.

The new BakeriBaltz bakery shop is located just a few doors along from the existing two Baltzersen's cafes there.

Mr Rawlinson said there were good, hard business reasons behind its latest opening.

He said: "We’re very happy on Oxford Street despite some of the overt challenges the street has faced over the last year.

"The thought behind expanding into baking our own bread is that it’s a complimentary activity to the existing business that allows us to improve the quality of what we’re already offering at the same time as accessing a new market."

"This expansion moves Baltzersen’s into a better position to look at next steps.

"This could be opening additional bakery outlets, cafe outlets or a combination of the two across a range of locations within Yorkshire.

"If the bakery and shop are a success then it’s further supporting evidence that, if you create a good product that delivers value and hits the right notes with respect to convenience, then you will find plenty of support amongst the residents of Harrogate.

"If you look at businesses like Stuzzi, Cold Bath Brewing, Little Ale House and plenty of other examples we’d say that is already known to be the case."