Handmade cake specialist Patisserie Valerie has reopened its flagship store in Bristol as the latest part of its investment programme into refurbishments.
Located inside the Cribbs Causeway out-of-town shopping centre, the new interior design is described as “blending the charm of a traditional patisserie with comfort and modern elegance” and accommodates seating for 120 people.
Patisserie Valerie said it was inspired to create a warm and welcoming space for customers to sit down, relax and enjoy a moment of quiet calm on their special day out shopping. “What better time to open the doors than to the throng of Christmas shoppers”, it added.
Patisserie Valerie CEO James Fleming noted that his whole team had worked hard to “bring to life a next-generation patisserie experience”, catering to customers looking to enjoy an indulgent treat away from the home and office.
“Our afternoon tea is hugely popular and growing in popularity, as people look to spend quality time catching up with their loved ones, so we’ve really elevated this for our new store and menu,” Fleming added.
The company has revamped a number of its core stores since August including in Wimbledon, Winchester and Cambridge. It said it now aims to pull together a further refurbishment roll out programme based on learnings from the launch of its Cribbs Causeway redesign, which received “really positive” reactions from its team and customers.
At its height, Patisserie Valerie operated more than 150 branded sites nationwide, employing over 3,000 staff. A dramatic collapse of the business in October 2018 resulted in dozens of outlets closed, with fraud charges subsequently brought against four individuals including its former director.
Having since been backed by Irish private equity firm Causeway Capital, and merged with the Bakers + Baristas chain, Patisserie Valerie is looking to continue a steady recovery. Its estate currently comprises 30 shops across the UK, with more openings planned “well ahead” of its centennial in 2026.
Its most recent annual results for the period ended 27 March 2022 showed a 509% increase in revenue, up to £9.63m from the £1.58m reported during the Covid-hit year prior.
Looking ahead to the current financial year, the company said it was anticipating further growth in both store and online businesses, hitting turnover of around £25m. It’s easy-to-navigate website and quality packaging impressed judges of the recent Baking Industry Awards 2023, who named it a finalist in the Online Bakery Business of the Year category.
When asked about new business strategies to support this growth ambition, Patisserie Valerie revealed it was investing mainly in PR and social media promotion, “to great effect”.
“This marketing approach has been so successful that we are already running out of some of our key lines and have had to get the Christmas baking elves back to keep supplies up of things like our mince pies and gingerbread slices!” it added.
We previously reported on some of the chain’s festive product range, including the Candy Cane Hot Chocolate Cake centrepiece.