South Shields baker prepares for opening of new shop after lockdown delay

Leanne Cummings is one step closer to having her cake and eating it too.

Monday, 6th July 2020, 7:00 am

The talented baker is finally set to open the doors to her new shop after a three-month delay caused by the pandemic.

Leanne Cummings set up dessert delivery service Elsie’s Kitchen two years ago, making cakes and puddings in her South Shields home, and soon expanded her range to include savoury products and dinners.

At the end of last year, she decided to give up her job as a housing officer, concentrate full time on developing her catering business and open a new shop in Westoe Road, South Shields.

Mike Guellard of NEL Fund Managers with Leanne Cummings

She worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure a £25,000 investment from the North East Small Loan Fund, upported By The European Regional Development Fund, to kit it out.

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The official opening was due to take place in April, only for the coronavirus outbreak to force Leanne to put those plans on hold.

The doors to Elsie’s Kitchen will finally now be opening on Tuesday July 7 - and Leanne is already planning on opening a second store within the next couple of years.

During the delay, she launched a new afternoon tea delivery service which which will form part of the menu in the new shop.

She said: “We’ve had to put lots of extra work into ensuring that we can maintain all the right distancing protocols and protective measures in place in the shop, but we’re pretty much ready now and looking forward to finally welcoming our first customers.

“Baking and cookery were always just a hobby, but the response I had from customers gave me the confidence to turn my passion for food into a full-time business and we can’t wait to get going.”

Mike Guellard, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: “It’s been a very frustrating few months for a lot of businesses that have had to unexpectedly put growth plans on hold.

“It’s great to see Leanne finally moving into her shop and it’s exciting to see her take the next step on the journey of turning her hobby into a thriving business.”

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