Bake Off star breathes new life into famous Shropshire landmark, The Black Gate
Success stories in the business community are few and far between at the moment, but one Oswestry-based foodie family are bucking the trend with their highly indulgent and refined patisserie company.
The brainchild of mother and son team, Samantha and Adam Cleal, Niche Patisserie was launched at the height of the first lockdown last May.
Pastry chef, Adam became a familiar face on our TV screens in 2019 as a semi-finalist on Bake Off The Professionals and now customers can sample his delicacies, such as his signature ‘incredible croissants’, first hand.
“This has been a dream of ours for years, but lockdown actually offered the perfect opportunity as Adam and I were both on furlough and we could see a need for a high-end business like this in Oswestry,” reveals Samantha. “So we decided to go for it and started last spring with delivery and takeaway.”
After a hugely successful year, the next step was to move to new premises where customers can experience all Niche Patisserie has to offer. And the perfect opportunity arose in the heart of Oswestry.
“The Black Gate on Salop Road (pictured above, far right, circa 1910) is such a beautiful building and it will be wonderful to breathe new life into such a historical and well-known landmark,” adds Samantha.
The famous black and white, grade II listed exterior will not be touched, but the interior will be split into an open kitchen and studio where customers can watch Adam at work, as well as enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea experience.
“The quality of the food and the service will be of the standard of a five-star hotel,” says Samantha. “Customers can also learn from Adam’s skills in hands-on classes held in the studio, while on the other side of the building there will be a bakery where the produce will be available to buy, as well as tea and coffee.”
The official name of this new venture will be Niche Patisserie at the Black Gate and it will be a true family affair as Samantha’s youngest son Kieron and her fiancé Michael have recently joined the team.
“We aim to offer something very special that will rival the likes of Claridges in London for the ultimate afternoon tea experience,” Samantha smiles. “If I was to explain it in a few words, I would say ‘luxurious, indulgent, top quality, niche and a little bit naughty’.”