Children’s favourite Elmer will be at Waterstones on New George Street, Plymouth, on Saturday, April 30 as the bookshop launches its new café with a day of magic and face-painting family fun.
With six years of bookselling experience and eighteen years in the hospitality industry, Waterstones Bookshop manager Lee Auburn is relishing the opportunity to marry his twin passions for food and books with the opening of the new café in the New George Street shop.
The café development is part of his vision to transform the bookshop into a “cultural hub” for the city, with an ambitious events programme launching in May starting with a visit from the Waterstones Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.
The café will champion the best local produce.
Lee said: “We are lucky in Plymouth to be blessed with a fantastic range of artisan bakers and specialist local producers. However, Column Bakehouse stood out for us, both for the quality of their food and their ‘social enterprise’ ethos which chimes so well with the direction we’re taking with our café and bookshop.”
Column Bakehouse impressed with their Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart which Lee describes as ‘beautiful, with a sophisticated balance of flavours. It just blew me away’.
What impressed him further was the Bakehouse team’s flexibility and willingness to collaborate with Waterstones on creating a bespoke menu for the bookshop’s café.
Column Bakehouse reinvests all profits into providing more opportunities for local people – by way of apprenticeships, jobs and opportunities to gain experience.
Claire Burgess, who heads the Devon Guildhall-based bakery said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been chosen by Waterstones to provide our locally produced artisan breads for the new bookshop café in New George Street.
“For a big brand like Waterstones to show such commitment to local producers is a real credit to them, particularly their local team who have sourced the very best local products.
“We look forward to working with Waterstones and supporting them in this exciting new venture.”
The café will also offer sandwiches, paninis and toasties delivered daily from Bites on Plymouth Barbican and an award-winning range of gourmet pies, tarts and cakes from Tom’s Pies in Clyst St Mary. All are handmade with no artificial preservatives, additives or colourings with all ingredients free range and sourced in the West Country where possible.
Tom Little, sales director and co-owner of Tom’s Pies, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be launching in Waterstones, as a local independent business focussed on supplying fantastic quality pies with excellent provenance we feel Waterstones’ ethos fits us perfectly.”
The café will offer triple certified coffee from Matthew Algie – approved by the Fairtrade Foundation, Rainforest Alliance and Organic Food Federation.
Customers will be able to enjoy a free hot drink of their choice with every cake purchased* as part of the launch celebrations on April 30.
* Free hot drink offer with every cake purchased valid at Waterstones Plymouth New George Street on Saturday 30th April only. Terms and conditions apply. Ask instore for details
(from a press release)