We take a trip north east to check out the Little Brunette Bakery, a family-run business who overcame the odds to deliver life’s greatest delights - freshly-made pastries…
Set in the picturesque town of Southwell, you will find the Little Brunette Bakery, a bakery owned and run by two sisters who are both passionate about baking - and who took a leap of faith in opening their small business.
The bakery is quaint, the sort of place you fantasise about opening one day, but never quite get around to doing. Thankfully, the sisters had the ambition and tenacity to make their dream a reality and set up the shop last year. The décor inside is aesthetically pleasing with leafy wallpaper and pink lampshades, plus the display cabinet is lined with home-baked goods which are all made on site, such as bagels, croissants, chocolate sourdough and cinnamon rolls.
Sisters Jessica, 27, and Amelia, 24, Wells make the perfect team. With Amelia’s qualification as an artisan baker, training at the Welbeck School of Artisan Food, coupled with Jessica’s experience working in retail and a trained eye for photography, the pair started off mainly baking celebration cakes from home and doing local bread deliveries out of their parents’ kitchen.
Two sisters running a business are still two sisters at the end of the day, and we do occasionally bicker!
However, the bakery - which is now thriving - almost never came to be due to planning issues with local authorities initially voting against the businesses plans, with some even worried about the bakery acting as a smell nuisance – which begs the question, who doesn’t love the smell of freshly- baked bread and buttery croissants in the morning?!
Chatting with Jessica and Amelia, I'm keen to learn more about the precarious start and the rise of Little Brunette Bakery.
“The building in Southwell became available to purchase and we basically took a leap of faith and thought, ‘Let’s open a bakery!’ Unfortunately, we were faced with multiple obstructions along the way,” they muse. “After spending our life savings and maxing out a small loan to fit out the shop and kitchen, we were told that the existing planning was not what we needed, and we had to go through everything all over again.”
After putting in new planning permissions and spending thousands of pounds on new testing over the following months, almost a year later Little Brunette Bakery was finally ready to open for business.
This wholesome family joint is not stopping here, with plans to open a second business in the future… I know I'll be first through the doors to support it!
Locals are fully supportive of the small business - which is conclusive evidence that many of life’s problems can be solved with pastries – and they all appear grateful that the bakery survived those difficult early days. The front door to the shop barely remains closed for longer than five minutes on a busy Saturday morning, with customers trailing in and out, baked goods clutched to their chests to take home and enjoy. Little Brunette also has a new brunch menu on offer, which includes filled bagels, French toast, scrambled eggs, and oats.
“We wanted to create a menu that hopefully pleases everyone and caters to a multitude of allergies. We are brunch lovers ourselves and have always wanted to create a place we would love to go,” Jess tells me.
The sisters aren’t alone in the shop; their mum, Kay, plays a huge role in the business and knows every customer by name – with some even popping by just to enjoy a coffee and a chat with her. “She’s also the voice of reason sometimes,” they tell me, laughing. “Two sisters running a business are still two sisters at the end of the day, and we do occasionally bicker!”
This wholesome family joint is not stopping here, with plans to open a second business in the future (bring on the challenges)… I know I'll be first through the doors to support it!
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