Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News

Café marks five years on Harrogate food scene

3 Oct 2017 by Vicky Carr

A leading Harrogate café founded in honour of its owner’s Norwegian heritage is marking its fifth birthday this month.

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Paul Rawlinson of Baltzersen's

Baltzersen’s, the Scandinavian-influenced café in Oxford Street, this month marks five years since it first opened its doors.

Owner Paul Rawlinson named the business after his paternal grandmother, Liv Esther Baltzersen, whose cooking and baking run throughout his childhood memories. As well as serving hundreds of thousands of cinnamon buns, waffles, meatballs and coffees in that time, the café has led the charge to promote the indie scene across Harrogate.

“The last five years have absolutely flown by and I’m so proud of all we’ve achieved,” he said.

“The food and drink landscape in Harrogate has changed significantly since we opened, with quite a few businesses closing their doors, so there’s not a day goes by when I don’t recognise how fortunate we are. It’s largely thanks to our brilliant customers, who are incredibly loyal and support everything we do.”

Since first opening in October 2012, Baltzersen’s has steadily developed to become one of Harrogate’s most popular cafés. From the extensive selection of cakes, including gluten-free and vegan choices, to the warming Norwegian stew lapskaus, the menu has evolved over the years – but its locally-sourced ingredients and careful preparation by the chefs and bakers have remained the same.

Over the years, Baltzersen’s has found itself under the spotlight for all the right reasons. A gingerbread house-making workshop was featured in the Telegraph in 2014, and it hosted international food writer and cook Signe Johansen in an exclusive event at Harrogate Theatre last year.

Baltzersen’s has also led the campaign to support other local independent businesses. Through its Locals’ Guide blogs, it champions the best of Harrogate’s shops, cafés, restaurants and more, while Paul also works closely with other business owners and organisations.

Not one to rest on his laurels, he is already working planning to introduce further changes to make Baltzersen’s even more popular with locals and visitors alike.

“We sent out a survey to our mailing list a few weeks ago, as well as posting on social media, asking customers for their views on what we could do next,” said Paul.

“We’ve had a great response – an incredible amount of support for the café as it is and some really interesting suggestions for future developments. We’ve got some ideas of our own, too, so the team will be working together to put some of these into action over the next few weeks.”

Whatever is introduced, that will remain constant is the overall feel and quality of the business, he added.

“We pride ourselves on using local suppliers, creating fresh food in our kitchens, and delivering outstanding service to all our guests. It’s a formula that has served us well for the last five years and I hope will continue to work for many more years to come.”