Prescot bakery in £30,000 crowdfunding push

An independent bakery in Prescot has raised almost £10,000 in 13 days as part of a £30,000 crowdfunding push to help expand its business.

The Albion Bakehouse in Leyland Street, which opened in October 2015, has outgrown its existing premises and hopes to fund a second site via the Kickstarter campaign that closes on 30 July.

Located behind the current bakery, Down in Albion would be twice the size of the existing site and would serve afternoon tea as well as breakfast, lunch, and coffee.

There are also plans to apply for an alcohol licence to cater for occasions such as hen parties and baby showers.

Owner Nina Halliwell opened the Bakehouse almost three years ago after building up the business from home and selling at local markets and food festivals.

“It was intended just to be a cake shop, but soon developed into more than that and is now a great little tearoom,” she told British Baker.

We would love to be able to produce our own gluten-free bread

“Once the new site opens, the Bakehouse will become just that, a bakehouse! We will be baking our celebration cakes from there, plus supplying all of the cakes for Down in Albion. We have a lot of wholesale enquiries too, so once the new site is up and running we can focus on supplying other local coffee shops and restaurants with our cakes.”

The new site would seat around 30 to 40 people inside and 20 in a courtyard and feature cakes baked at the original bakery. The cake menu changes on a daily basis and includes scones, Victoria sponge, chocolate fudge cake, rocky road, cupcakes and macarons.

“We are looking to buy a new oven which is one of the things we want to purchase should we hit our Kickstarter target,” Halliwell continued.

“This will enable us to bake our own breads at Down in Albion and also sell to the public for take away. We get a lot of requests for gluten-free and vegan options. We do always have options on the cake counter each day and would love to be able to produce our own gluten-free bread.”

The afternoon tea selection – which would also be available in gluten-free and vegan formats – would feature finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a selection of mini cakes, including gluten-free brownies and lemon drizzle.

Among the rewards offered in the Kickstarter campaign are tea/coffee and cake for two people in return for a £10 investment and a private party for 50 people for those who pledge £2,000.

Halliwell moved into baking after the birth of her third child. She previously trained as a shoemaker and ran a business making luxury accessories and running shoe-making workshops, but then struggled with childcare.

“I had to step away from that business to look after my youngest,” she said.

“I started baking as I needed to be creative. It just spiralled from there. We now employ six other people and will be taking on more bakers soon, as well as a chef and waiting staff. It’s all very exciting for the team.”

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