Artisan bakery and café to open in York city centre

Some of Olivia's bread. Photograph: Olivia's Artisan Bakery And Café
11 Jun 2015 @ 7.01 pm
| Food & drink

The enticing smell of fresh bread will soon be floating down Goodramgate as a new café and bakery opens on the street.

A branch of Olivia’s Artisan Bakery & Café is even now being kitted out ready for opening on Monday (June 15). It will be the seventh branch opened by the Darlington-based company, which already operates out of Thirsk, Northallerton and Stokesley in North Yorkshire.

It will sell freshly baked bread, sandwiches, cakes and drinks to take away, and a range of fresh food in the café.

All the bread is baked in the company’s Darlington bakery. Bakers there finish their shift at about 4am when the loaves will be delivered daily to Goodramgate.

“We’re very excited about coming to York,” said Rick McCordall, Olivia’s managing director.

I know York is a very busy city that’s got a good food scene.

There are other, very good, bakers in York, but I think there’s room for another.

And while we’re possibly not the cheapest café in town, we’re certainly not the most expensive.

Crumbs, what a choice

The exterior of the café on Goodramgate. Photograph: YorkMix
The exterior of the café on Goodramgate. Photograph: YorkMix

Among the products on offer will be a sourdough loaf developed with the help of Australian celebrity baker Dan Lepard.

Other good sellers are the white tin loaves, and speciality breads including cheese and onion, date and pudding and tomato ciabatta.

The company uses organic flour, and all its ingredients are sourced from producers in County Durham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

The loaves range in price from £2.05 to £2.95.

Among the dishes in the café are a sausage roll made with free-range pork for £3. Homity pie – made from potato, cheese and onion in pastry – and the black pudding brunch, including bacon, eggs and mushrooms, are both popular.

For those with a sweet tooth treats include sliced Sicilian lemon cake, tray bakes and billionaire’s shortbread (now there’s inflation for you).

The look

Olivia’s Artisan Bakery & Café have invested around £50,000 in opening its York venue.

The National Trust café in Goodramgate, York: closed with immediate effect.
When it was The National Trust café
Housed in what was the National Trust café and more recently Retro Fondue, the café has been tastefully refurbished with Elephant’s Breath Farrow & Ball painted wallshe and oak flooring.

There are also leather sofas on the carpeted mezzanine.

Rick said that the décor reflected the company ethos, featuring reclaimed pallet wood furniture and lamps made from recycled egg boxes.

It will open daily from 8am-5pm and will initially employ eight people, with six full-time equivalent posts.

Ethical outlook

The company began in 2012 when it was invited to take over the running of a bakery by charity the Clervaux Trust.

The trust works with disadvantaged young people in the North East. And Olivia’s is committed to giving work experience to young people with learning difficulties.

“We have seen some real successes – young people who, when they came in, didn’t open up to anyone,” said Rick. “Then we introduced them to the bakery.

“They have got into a routine, become settled, and then they’ve come out of their shell.”

Once the York branch is established, they would be looking to do the same thing there. The manager, Ruth Webster “has some experience of working with people with learning disabilities in the past, which is a great thing for us,” said Rick.

He added:

We hope that people in York will like what we do. I am very proud we have got our name in York.