The Cornish Patisserie
Fresh, handmade patisserie in Cornwall
When Trevor O’Shea and Mark Khan took over Patisserie Express in Devon, it was a tiny business selling mainly to the local tourist trade. Five years on, they’re delivering a range of 140 fresh, hand-made desserts, gateaux, terrines, pastries and savouries to outlets across southern England. Trevor O’Shea is in no doubt that Cornwall has played a big part in the company’s growth.
“When we bought the business, it was sending one van down to Cornwall a week, or sometimes even squeezing the deliveries into the back of a car,” says Trevor. “But within three years, almost half of our business was in Cornwall and we’d outgrown our production facility.” The company began looking around for another site, but had problems finding anywhere suitable near its original base. “We soon realised that north Cornwall made a lot of sense – and not just because our products sell so well in the county,” Trevor explains. “For one thing, the transport links are excellent, with the A30 giving rapid access to the M5. We also found that prices for business premises are very reasonable.”
Perhaps even more important was the positive image that food and drink from Cornwall has in the eyes of consumers and retailers. “Cornwall is developing a reputation as being somewhere people go to have a good food experience,” Trevor says. “It’s not just the influence of celebrities like Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver. People are increasingly interested in what goes into the food they eat, and Cornwall has quite rightly got a superb reputation for quality and freshness – which can only be good for a brand like ours. In fact, that’s one reason why we decided to call ourselves the Cornish Patisserie!” As far as possible, the company sources its ingredients locally, including eggs, whipping cream and meat for its savoury products.