Patisserie Valerie opens 55th and 56th cafes in Edinburgh, Monday August 06 2012
Luxury cake chain Patisserie
Valerie recently opened its 55th and 56th cafes in Edinburgh
and is looking to expand. Chief Executive Paul May told us
Why are you opening two new stores and why
When we started looking in Edinburgh, we were looking for one
big high profile site. We couldn't find this so decided to get the
same sort of impact from two sites, and were reasonably confident
that the North
Bridge and Rose
Street locations would work for us. Edinburgh is very high on
our list of opportunity towns and we think there's the possibility
of three to four outlets there. The demographic profile fits
(Patisserie Valerie's typical customer is a 35 to 45 year old
female) and tourists are a very big thing for us.
How many people are you recruiting and in what kind of
The North Bridge site has a production facility downstairs and
there are about 35 people there at the moment. The roles go from
management to waitress, pastry chef and kitchen porter. Rose Street
has between 20 and 25 people front and back of house.
What's your appeal and unique selling
Our biggest appeal is our shop window (featuring delights such
as Black Forest Slice, Strawberry Gateau Slice and Mille-Feuille).
Everything that you see is handmade. People look and like to come
in. It's an affordable treat. Irrespective of their financial
circumstances, people still need to do something at the weekend.
They may not have disposable income to buy clothes or white goods,
but they can come into Patisserie Valerie for a coffee and a cake,
and stay as long as they like for less than £6-£7 a head. That's a
very nice way to go out.
How did the business start and where do you want it to
The business was started in 1926 by a Belgian lady called Madame
Valerie in London's Soho. In 2006 Luke Johnston (the serial
restaurant entrepreneur and Chairman of Channel 4 Television) and I
bought the business with six stores. Combined we now have 89
stores. Our performance is very solid all the way through. Sales
and profits have grown 20% year on year over the last five years.
On average we're opening one outlet every four weeks. From our
perspective we think we can open 250 outlets in Great Britain.