French chef Abel Mehablia is to launch a range of patisseries as part of his development of Northern Ireland’s first Patisserie Cookery School.

Mehablia set up La Table Tea Room and French Patisserie Cookery School at Merville House, a Georgian manor near Belfast, in September, as part of an initiative to develop a range of patisseries for sale particularly outside Northern Ireland, as well as expanding French patisserie skills and knowledge in Northern Ireland.

Born in Paris, the graduate of the Lycée Hotellerie Tourisme de Yvelines, near Versailles, said he had identified an opportunity to sell his handcrafted artisan cakes and French breads to hotels, restaurants and high-end retailers in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Mehablia said: “I decided to develop my range of patisseries for sale outside the tea room in response to the demand from customers and from those attending functions to which I’ve been commissioned to provide products.

“I plan, in the first instance, to market the patisseries and breads, all handcrafted by me, by means of my website. There’s a growing demand for indulgent products. I’ve had approaches from other cafés and retailers interested in quality breads and cakes. I will be following these approaches to expand the business.”