York’s unique new eating place has opened its doors.
The Larder Club, which mixes Yorkshire hospitality with an authentic Italian vibe, is found on Blake Street – and very swish it is too.
With a modern and airy feel, the café and deli has a very different look to York Cocoa House which was the previous occupant.
And it has a totally distinct approach to any other café in the city.
“The Larder Club is a social enterprise, which is focused upon the rehabilitation of women offenders,” owner Laura Gallery told YorkMix.
“So we’re working closely alongside HMP Askham Grange, and we use profit from the deli to fund work placements and employment opportunities within the deli itself, as well as funding barista skills training, equipping women with a skill that will hopefully increase their employment opportunities.”
The Larder Club is having a soft-opening this week, with pre-booked diners only, with a full opening next week.
Born and bred in York, Laura loves the city – and the historic home for The Larder Club.
But she also loves Italy – the people, the culture, the food. And that combination is what the Larder Club is all about
When it comes to the café, it specialises in platters – like a breakfast platter filled with fruit and freshly baked pastries, a board full of meats and cheeses or a dessert platter filled with tasty treats.
“All of our produce here, so far as possible, is either authentically Italian – so it’s been made in Italy and it’s been bought over here – or it’s authentically Yorkshire,” Laura said.
“There are a number of cheeses, for example, and also a number of meats, that have been made with Yorkshire produce but using Italian recipes.”
The opening of the project, which raised £14,500 in a crowdfunding campaign, was delayed by both planning complications and Covid-19.
Laura hopes it appeals to both foodies and those who love the cause underpinning it.
“There might be some people who, hopefully, walk past the front of our shop, think that we look like a great place, come in, have a great experience and walk back out.
“There might be other people who come here because they are aware of our cause.
“And perhaps they come here knowing that every penny they’re spending, whether it is for a cup of coffee or whether it is to buy their deli produce to take home, some of that is also going back into the community.”
Ultimately she would like to have similar projects up and running elsewhere. “We’d like to take this and recreate it in other places all over the country, but we’ll see how this goes first, I think, on day one!”