Clervaux Bakery and Cafe to open in Northallerton

The Northern Echo: CHANCE TO LEARN: Rick McCordall, director of Clervaux Artisan Bakery and Cafe CHANCE TO LEARN: Rick McCordall, director of Clervaux Artisan Bakery and Cafe

AN organic bakery and cafe which helps disadvantaged young people into work could create 10 new jobs after announcing expansion plans.

Clervaux Artisan Bakery and Cafe, in Darlington, will open a second outlet in Northallerton to sell its range of food and drink.

The business, which opened its bakery in Coniscliffe Road, Darlington, in 2010, currently employs about 15 full-time and part-time workers, and hopes the move will be a catalyst to grow the company across the North-East.

Working alongside Darlington-based charity Clervaux Trust, the bakery and cafe provides a wide range of work experience and vocational training, and has helped dozens of young people.

It serves up produce grown at its 100-acre Clow Beck Farm, near Croft, and offers youngsters the chance to learn how to grow organic wheat and fruit and vegetables and then serve it to customers in the cafe.

Director Rick McCordall hopes to move into the Wool Room shop, in High Street, Northallerton, in April, and said it could pave the way for future expansion.

He said: "We intend to use the Darlington bakery and cafe as the hub of the business targeting outlets than can be served from the central baking facility.

"The opportunity to sell fresh products and deliver them to satellite cafes in the area is exciting and will also make the business model much more stable. "Having more outlets will make us more economically viable."

"I have raised £300,000 through privately invested money to drive this business forward and the Northallerton outlet will act as a balance to the Darlington business.

"Thereafter, we will look to move into other locations which could include Yarm, Richmond, Stokesley, Bedale and Barnard Castle."

Mr McCordall said the bakery and cafe played an important role in helping young people gain work experience and learn about operating in a team environment.

He said: "We combine the business with work placement for vulnerable individuals that may possibly drop through the employment and training net, which has been very effective.

"They see the relationship from the seed to the plate, which is a really powerful thing, and therapeutic for those who feel disenfranchised with the world.

"They fell part of a team, they gain experience and the customers like having them around too.”

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