• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Chocs Away! Successful patisserie Studio28 moves online

ByRob Lawson

May 17, 2020

CHOCOLATIER and chef Naomi Longfield has moved her successful patisserie business online.

Studio28 Patisserie opened its doors at Hoults Yard, Byker, last May and had been supplying many of Tyneside’s most high-profile cafes and restaurants with her exquisite hand-made chocolates and cakes before they were forced to close because of the spread of COVID-19.

“It was a bit of shock, and we’d been doing so well,” said Naomi.

“I closed for six weeks and spent the time redesigning our packaging to take out as much plastic as possible, streamlining what we produce and improving our website. We have a café on our premises at Hoults Yard and that has obviously closed, so for the moment we’re an online business.

“It’s going really well; word is spreading and we’re getting lots of new customers who want a treat to cheer them up during lockdown. Our COVID-19 Emergency Kits are doing particularly well, and customers can choose from cake box, chocolate box, hot chocolate treat box, or vegan chocolate box options,” she added.

Studio28 is providing a free delivery service to specific Tyneside postcodes – NE1-8, NE12, NE27, NE28 and NE30.

“Our Emergency Kits are doing very well, but we’ve also had lots of orders for our chocolate range. Bars range from strawberry crunch and caramelised almond to honeycomb and ginger and orange,” said Naomi.

“Our cakes are doing well too, and we’re changing our range every week and we’re also selling a lot of our signature bonbons. I think people just want a treat and can’t go out for a meal so they’re coming to us.

“We’ve never been busier – we’ve had orders from old customers, but also a lot of new ones, which is lovely. Finding my ingredients hasn’t been a problem although the cost of raw chocolate has gone up a bit.

“I miss the buzz of the Yard, and the interaction of people through the café, but at least we’ve been able to keep the business going online,” Naomi added.

One company based on the Yard sent a box of Naomi’s chocolates to every member of staff to thank them for their work and commitment during the COVID-lockdown. Opencast Software, a technology company working with key Government organisations and global corporations, thought Studio 28 gift boxes were the perfect way to say thank you.

“It was a lovely thing to do and obviously I was only too happy to help out,” said Naomi.

She had always been interested in food and completed a patisserie course at Gateshead College before starting work in the pastry kitchen of the prestigious Café 21 restaurant. She then joined Gareth James, the Tynemouth chocolatier where she worked for three years.

From Gareth James, Naomi moved on to Pink Lane Coffee. “I learned as much about coffee there as I’d learned about chocolate at Gareth James,” Naomi said.

After a year at Pink Lane, Naomi signed up to do a course at the prestigious Cocoa Black chocolate and pastry school in Peebles, Scotland.

“I’d completed one course and then overheard a tutor saying someone had dropped out of their showpiece chocolate sculpting course, so asked straight away if I could do the course instead of them. They agreed – and it turned out there were five Michelin-starred pastry chefs and me!” explained Naomi.

After successfully completing the course, she landed a job in London at the Hakkasan Group, one of the world’s most distinguished restaurant brands.

After working in the capital for four years, Naomi returned to her native Newcastle and opened her Hoults Yard patisserie summer.

Studio28 was supplying Pink Lane Coffee, the Backyard Bike Shop, The Grey Street Hotel and Papa Ganoush in Jesmond with chocolate and cakes on Tyneside, and had recently added the luxurious Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey to her list of clients.

For more information go to www.studio28patisserie.co.uk