Mike Guellard of NEL Fund Managers with Leanne Cummings.
Jane Imrie

South Tyneside bakery set to launch following five-figure investment

A North East baker is set to open the doors to her new venture after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Tyneside baker and entrepreneur Leanne Cummings is set to open the doors to a new shop for her dessert delivery service Elsie’s Kitchen.

Leanne, who started the business from her home in South Shields two years ago, worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure a £25k investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund for her new shop in Westoe Road.

Leanne commented: “We’ll be continuing to offer the same service from the shop and it’s really helped us build local awareness of what we’re soon going to be offering.

“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.

“I want to get the Westoe Road shop up and running now, but think there’s a great deal more potential in the business that I can realise and establishing a physical presence in a second location in the near future is high on my to-do list.”

The shop was originally scheduled to launch earlier in the year, but was delayed by the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Leanne explained: “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.

“We launched the afternoon tea delivery service as something to keep us ticking over until we could launch, but the response was amazing and we were often struggling to keep up with all the orders that were coming in.”

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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