Serving up amazing coffee, bangin' breakfasts and their famous sweet treats, make sure you to hot-step down to your local Pudding Pantry as soon as possible...
If you’ve taken a stroll around Sherwood, Beeston or Trinity Square on any given weekend, you may have seen queues stretching outside these cute little stores with ‘The Pudding Pantry’ written proudly above the door. You may have even been in those queues yourself, waiting patiently to be seated in one of the most talked-about establishments in Nottingham.
If you’re one of the latter, congratulations, you’ll have tasted one of the creative cakes or buttery pancakes that have proven such a hit with punters across the city. If you’re one of the former, where have you been for the past eight years? You’ve got so much catching up to do.
From chocolate and raspberry pies to salted caramel brownies, afternoon tea to fresh cups of coffee, The Pudding Pantry have firmly cemented themselves as one of Nottingham’s leading eateries. But how have they done it? Co-owner Anthony Quinn enthusiastically reveals all as I savour a frankly glorious cappuccino in their Sherwood digs.
“Everything we do food-wise marks a big difference to most places in terms of how much we make in-house,” Anthony says, lifting the lid on what sets them apart from the big chains. “I don’t think we shout about it enough, but we make homemade beans, homemade salted caramel, even homemade marshmallows - we drop the mix off at our different sites and our chefs use these big double-handed blades to chop them up.
“There’s very little we buy in. That means we can attract a certain type of chef. Rather than having to buy things ready-made and slap them in the microwave, they can get involved in the development of our food from the very beginning. I know everyone says it, but I think that does make us different, and the customers can feel the care that’s gone into everything.”
This care comes through not just in the food, but in the customer service too. Since kicking off way back in 2014, The Pudding Pantry have established a loyal following, building an ever-growing core of regulars that come back week-in, week-out. Keeping the close connection with everyone who spends their hard-earned money on a slice of cake or a cup of coffee is a key focus of the Pantry, co-owner Emma Quinn explains.
“All of our team really enjoy talking to customers, getting to know them,” she says. “We get a lot of families with children or people coming in with their dogs, and we’ll make the time to go over and have a chat and see how they’re doing. I think you have to build that trust over time.”
These loyal customers have helped The Pudding Pantry to spread out across Nottingham, from Sherwood in the north to Beeston in the south. Yet while that has meant a growth in team size, expectations and, sure enough, workload, Emma and Anthony continue to foster a sense of togetherness within their teams, wherever they’re based. Once you’re a member of the Pudding Pantry crew, you’re not looking to leave in a rush, with many going on to climb the internal ladder, helping to maintain the close-knit, friendly atmosphere that has catapulted the firm to success.
“We think we get the best out of our staff because we get to know them on a personal level,” Emma muses. “Loads of our team have developed within the business. They came in as a team member and they’ve gone on to become managers and supervisors. We like to give the opportunity for growth, and we really do feel like we’ve got a little work family here.”
While expanding into other areas of Nottingham is unlikely in the short-term - “Although we’re in a position to keep growing, in the current climate our main focus is keeping things secure,” Anthony explains - the Pudding Pantry team will continue to innovate, experiment and create the unique treats that made them their name. Most imminently, of course, with their Christmas selection.
“There are festive specials that are designed to be ordered for Christmas Day, ready to eat after you tuck into your turkey,” Anthony says. “For this, we’ve taken Christmassy classics and put a twist on it,” Emma adds. “We’ve created a pecan and sticky toffee Christmas pudding with sauce, which is delicious, a raspberry and chocolate yule log, mince pie macarons - so many exciting options.”
Putting the trademark Pudding Pantry spin on delicious sweet treats, offering up cracking coffee that rivals the best in the business, and doing it all with a friendly, personal touch? I think I’ll be joining those queues again very soon…
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