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Case Studies

Coatbridge couple whip up tasty new business

Bringing a taste of America to Coatbridge has helped a local couple fulfil their dream of opening their own bakery and coffee shop.

Graeme Neil and David Frame launched Mad Batter Bakery at the end of last year after tapping into advice from Business Gateway Lanarkshire.

The duo, who took three years to find the right location for their business, have ploughed over £40k into the venture including £12k from North Lanarkshire Council’s Business Growth Fund.

Since opening the 1000sqft bakery and 26 cover coffee shop at 23 Coatbank Street, the business has created two additional jobs including taking on Shannon Smillie, a former confectioner at the famous Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow.

The bakery, which channels the couple’s love of American baking and desserts has also secured a contract to supply its creations, which include Key Lime Pie, Mississippi Mud Pie, and Reece’s pieces cheesecake, to a local restaurant.

Our Business Gateway adviser Elaine Kerr helped us successfully apply for funding that part-funded the work.

Graeme, a former department manager at Hilton Hotels, said: “David and I had been thinking about opening our own place for a while and decided to specialise in American products as no one else produces them locally; we also love American food having visited the country countless times including nine trips to Las Vegas! Once we found our unit we totally transformed it, lowering the ceiling and installing all the equipment, and our Business Gateway adviser Elaine Kerr helped us successfully apply for funding that part-funded the work.

“I’d initially gone to Business Gateway last year as I have a lot of customer service experience but no experience in actually running a business. I went on a lot of their free start-up workshops and our adviser connected us to Routes to Work for our staff. Without Elaine’s support, we wouldn’t have been as prepared as we were when we first opened. She gave us confidence, pushed us when we needed it, and is always at the other end of the phone if we have any questions.”

Elaine Kerr, Business Gateway, said: “Graeme and David’s ultimate aim is to become a premium dessert supplier to a range of local eateries and to open a chain of Mad Batter Bakeries across Lanarkshire. By working with us they have increased their knowledge and business skills, accessed funding they never knew existed and launched a business that has already created jobs.”

Pretend baking with his bakery manager uncle when he was a toddler started David on the road to owning his own bakery – he was also known to whip up a range of cakes and treats as a teenager for his mum’s house guests.

His passion for baking led him to work in Sainsbury’s bakery and he put himself through college gaining his HND in both patisserie and confectionary. David stayed with the supermarket for 22 years only leaving to launch his own venture.

He said: “For me, coming up with new recipes and ways of presenting cakes, tarts etc is a more creative outlet than baking, although Paul Hollywood might not agree! I love combining different flavours and working with Shannon has helped us produce some amazing and unusual cakes and treats already, including Mars bar and cheddar jalapeño scones and chocolate peppermint candy cane cheesecake that went down a storm over the festive season.”

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