2019 was a very important year for us here at Baltzersen’s. We’ve really been working hard internally to make sure we’re getting the fundamentals of the business right and, as well as taking a quick look back over the past 12 months, we’re ready to share some of the improvements we’ll be making in 2020.
We’ve now been operating the coffee shop offering the full menu since we knocked through into the existing kitchen at the end of January. It’s great to see more guests giving the coffee shop a try and it definitely has a slightly different feel to the original cafe. We think that’s great because it widens our appeal and gives guests different options depending on their mood or why they’re visiting us. It’s also been lovely to see more guests with mobility issues able to visit and there’s no doubt that those with buggies find the step-free access a bonus too.
We had quite a busy programme of food events in 2019, collaborating with Gina from Onnuri Authentic Korean Food and Zacki from Kurdish Kitchen and most recently Annabel and her Plant Styles (now rebranded as ‘Bramble’) team.
Since these special food nights were so well-received with new and regular guests, we plan to continue to offer events in this fashion so if you are interested in working with us (or know someone that might be) then do get in touch. We always announce tickets via our social media channels and via our newsletter so if you’d like to hear from us you know where to look.
Our first food event of 2020 sees the return of Bramble with a vegan Italian feast on 24th and 25th January. Tickets for 25th are now sold out but there are still some spaces left on 24th. Tickets here.
Over Christmas our new range of craft events were super popular so we’ll certainly be looking to work with some of our collaborators again. In particular we can see lots of scope for more classes with Regal Florists as we move through the seasons.
Back in May 2018, we removed all single-use cups from Baltzersen’s. We had been offering compostable coffee cups, which require certain conditions in order for them to be composted efficiently, but after speaking to our guests in the cafe we realised there had been a shift in attitudes and we wanted to act accordingly.
It was the right decision for us at the time and we’re proud to be a forward-thinking company willing to take those kinds of risks.
Since then we’ve been looking to work with a company who could help us bridge the gap between convenience and environmental awareness and we’re excited to announce that we’ll be the first cafe in England to partner with Dublin based cup deposit scheme 2GoCup. We’re expecting the arrival of our first batch of cups any day now.
The way the scheme works is if you haven’t got a reusable cup you pay just £1 to borrow one of ours. Once you have finished your drink you can bring the cup back to us (or any other cafe in the scheme once it takes off) for a refund of your £1. Alternatively you can keep the cup and use it again and again.
We see this as offering the benefit of convenience alongside the environmental consideration and we’re hopeful that other cafes in Harrogate and throughout Yorkshire might be willing to join the scheme alongside us.
People of Baltzersen’s
In you follow us on Instagram, you will have seen our ‘People of Baltzersen’s’ project, where we share portraits of people in our community, from guests who visit us in the cafe to independent businesses owners in Harrogate. This project will continue into 2020 as we showcase our team, guests and members of Harrogate’s wider indie community.
We also have a plan to get the project into print and up on our walls at some point this year.
The next photography session will take place in February so if you’d like to be part of it keep an eye out for our newsletter nearer the time.
As always we will be closing for a short period at the end of January. This year it’ll be for 5 days from 20-24th January. During that time the key improvement we’ll be making is behind the scenes as we change our kitchen extraction arrangements which should significantly improve conditions for the kitchen team, especially during the summer.
Guests will notice some changes to our artwork, decor and the addition of cushions to the benches in the cafe. We’ll also be refreshing the paintwork throughout both sides of the business.
There are no significant changes to the food menu, although once we reopen we’ll have a new seasonal porridge and a replacement for the pork belly sandwich which we’ve been serving over Christmas.
We decided to remove our batch brewer a few weeks ago as we didn’t feel it was justifying its significant presence on the counter. This will be replaced with a blender so we’ll be experimenting with some blended drinks to add to our drinks offer soon.
A Big Project is coming
We are monumentally excited to say that we’re working on something really big behind the scenes here at Baltzersen’s. We see this project as being the next logical step in the development of the business and we can’t wait to tell you more about it!
It’s going to require a significant level of planning and investment to make it happen but we’ve taken some significant steps along the road and hope to be able to give you more details, including how you can get involved, soon.
Finally on behalf of all the team at Baltzersen’s I’d like to thank our guests for making 2019 a hugely busy and successful year. We hear a lot about the death of the high street and how tough times are for a lot of people in business, so we feel very appreciative of all the support you give us on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
On a personal note I’d also like to include a note of thanks to our team. We have a spine of people at Baltzersen’s who have been working here for a long time and provide incredible stability for us to build a team around. As ever the team changes as people’s lives move on and when things don’t work out for either party, but we’d like to thank everyone that has worked at Baltzersen’s in 2019 for their hard work.
We look forward to serving you in 2020.