A COVID SUCCESS STORY
In the middle of the lockdown Serena Whitefield of Pearl & Groove Bakery was faced with a dilemma.
The lease on her store in Portobello Road was nearing its end and demand from her growing online business was stretching her small back of house production kitchen to the limit.
Having recently relocated out of London, setting up a larger production bakery nearer to home and finding a new and smaller retail store was one of the options we considered with her but the idea of a combined bakery and store was also discussed and Serena found the perfect solution – a retail space in Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell which was large enough to combine both into one.
We undertook demographic research and evaluated pedestrian footfall in addition to preparing an initial budget. Tenders to potential contractors and equipment suppliers was our next stage of work which we supplemented with advice on R&D tax credits and project finance options.
She acquired the lease whilst lockdown was still in place so getting the fit-out started wasn’t possible, but then with the easing of restrictions at the start of June, our chosen contractors were appointed and planning work got underway.
The new bakery and store have now been open since mid-August having completed the refit in a whirlwind four weeks and business has never been better.
Online is booming and local customers are enjoying her fabulous gluten free cakes and speciality fresh coffee blends.
With a love for indulgence, flavour, colour, cake, puddings, glitter and parties matched with a balance of health, wellness and creativity, her cake display is a riot of colour.
Serena believes that cake is something of love, friendship, sharing, celebration and says cake is so much more than just a sweet treat! And now with the larger bakery she can cope with demand from customers nationwide.
The bakery is 100% gluten free, using mainly ground almonds as a substitute, which makes the cakes moist, full of flavour and needless to say, delicious! The bakery is full of sweet smells and smiling faces that are constantly getting creative in the kitchen and making sure new seasonal flavours and puddings are coming in fresh and fast.
Celebration cakes are her speciality and there is no limit to her imagination in creating stunning cakes.
But where did the name come from?
Pearl & Groove are actually the nick names of founder Serena’s parents (very cute, right?)
They are two people who care about health and well-being and this has clearly carried through as a passion for Serena.
Dad (aka Groover) has made his living by eating chocolate. The smooth mover, all round chiller, is an expert chocolate consultant, the Willy Wonka in the family likes to indulge from time to time (very wise man). He has a vast knowledge of flavours and knows where to find the best ingredients – to eat like a Groover.
Mum (aka Pearlie) swears by her refined sugar, dairy and gluten free lifestyle, she’s the gem of the family with a heart of gold, she’s incredibly active and full of beans.
We’ve very much enjoyed undertaking this project on behalf of Serena and this work followed on from earlier activity for her Portobello Road store.
Of our work together Serena said, “Eddie has been amazing! I’d been ‘winging it’ for a long time, my business was, on the surface going really well, the customer base and orders were growing and growing, but the demand was getting too high, the problem was it was flattering that we kept pushing on thinking surely this is all worth it. Our small team meant that numbers and workings out weren’t made a priority, but one day my great friend Thea said I should meet Eddie and finally make some business sense. He’s been so positive and encouraging, after meeting him just once I could see the changes in the business within the first month and that enabled us to move to our new premises in Exmouth Market and keep Portobello Road running until the end of lease. I have every bit of confidence that if I meet with Eddie 3-4 times a year my business will grow and grow financially as well as the orders. He’s allowed me to see a future and creating the right work life balance, because what’s the point in having your own business if it doesn’t work for you – thank you Eddie, can’t wait to see what’s round the corner”
We wish her and her team at Pearl & Groove continued success.
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If you’d like to find out more how I helped the team at Pearl & Groove and to explore how I can help you, call or email to schedule a time to chat about your needs.