May 29, 2020 @ 9:11 by Richard Dawson
Artisan chocolatier and patisserie chef Naomi Longfield is finding new ways to reach customers after her fledging café in Newcastle was forced to close during the pandemic.
Naomi, who opened her café in 2019, has pivoted the business to focus on her website offering with a new personalised chocolate delivery service.
Studio 28 Patisserie offers a selection of boxes to choose from whether it’s cake, cookies, or chocolate and even a COVID-19 emergency kit to help keep people’s spirits up during difficult times.
Naomi said: “I’ve put my heart and soul into opening Studio 28 Patisserie, and I didn’t want to see all my hard work disappear overnight.
“While the café is closed, we’ve been working on a range of chocolate boxes that customers can buy online which are delivered to select postcodes throughout the week.
“These have proved hugely popular as birthday or anniversary presents during a time where people can’t dine out or visit many shops.”
Naomi’s love of cooking saw her leave a maths degree at York University and sign up to do a patisserie and confectionary course at Gateshead College.
She explained: “The Gateshead College course set me on the route to opening my own business.
“As well as one-to-one learning in the classroom, I also got the opportunity to do lots of work experience which proved priceless in getting me to where I am today.
“Once a week I worked in the pastry kitchen at the renowned Café 21 where I spent valuable time with Helen Doyle, a leading pastry chef in the region.
“Following my studies, I joined Gareth James, the chocolatier’s at Tynemouth where I learned so much about the chocolate business.
“I then went to Pink Lane Coffee where I gained just as much knowledge on coffee.”
Following a popular response to her online service, Naomi is focused on growing her web store even more when the café reopens.
She’s also planning to add a click and collect service where customers can also buy pastries and coffees.
Chris Toon, deputy principal at Gateshead College, said: “It’s great to see former student Naomi continuing to develop her successful patisserie business despite the enforced closure of her café; we’re really proud of her.
“She’s had to think on her feet and fast track the development of her ecommerce offering to survive the pandemic. Her resilience is clearly paying off given the popularity of her personalised chocolate boxes and we wish her every success in the future.”