Norfolk craft bakery chain The Bakehouse is rebranding its shops as Flour & Bean, with a greater focus on freshly prepared coffee and food, in an effort to attract younger customers.

The company has already refurbished four of its 14 shops under the new bakery and coffee shop brand, with the rest due to be completed in the next two years, along with its fleet of five Jiffy vans. Lorraine Langchild, who runs the business with her husband, David, said the impact of the new brand, which was developed in conjunction with retail design consultants CDA Option One, had been very good, with one store seeing an increase in sales of 85% year-on-year.

In-store theatre is an important element of the new concept, with freshly prepared sandwiches and products baked-off in front of customers, while Fair-trade coffee is made using traditional espresso machines.

"Flour & Bean’s primary focus is now freshly prepared food and the coffee offer has been significantly enhanced. It’s a natural step away from traditional bakery shops, but still retains the bakery image, and provides an offer that attracts a younger customer," said Langchild.

She added that training was fundamental to the new concept to make sure coffee and bakery products were made to a high standard.

"Allowance has to be made for more labour than before, especially to prepare coffees," she said. "It is now easier to attract better-quality staff as it is a place people want to work."