One of York’s best-known food shops is about to enjoy a whole new slice of life.
Established 26 years ago, Via Vecchia on Shambles has been sold to two neighbouring shopkeepers who plan to give the bakery a makeover.
Adam Scott of the Shambles Sweet Shop and Phil Pinder of accessories specialist Cuffs & Co have jointly bought the shop from Jim Hardie.
It will be renamed Pinder & Scott. But Jim is to stay on and make the wonderful bread that the shop is known for.
And he’ll continue his wholesale business, supplying fresh bread to local restaurants.
Via Vecchia will close next Monday (April 16) and re-open at 9am on Friday, April 27.
The closure is to enable a ‘rustic’ makeover to leave the bakery as fresh as one of Jim’s loaves.
This will see the counter moved to the back wall and new cupboards and shelves to house additional stock.
As well as selling the extensive range of hand-made breads – including savoury loaves with unique flavours like Marmite and cheese and pesto – Pinder & Scott will offer a selection of brownies and cookies.
There will also be hand-made jams and pickles from local suppliers. And fudge in York tins for the tourist trade.
One of the ideas behind the change, Phil said, was to extend the shop’s selling hours.
“The shop often sells out of fresh bread by two o’clock,” he told YorkMix. “And there’s no point in keeping a shop open with nothing left to sell.
“That’s why we’re increasing the range – it will enable us to keep the shop open later and people can come along in the afternoon to order their bread for the following day.”
How it all began
Via Vecchia was created and run for many years by Alistair Lawton. As a chef he worked at the Ritz and Claridges hotels. Later he joined the staff of the luxury liner QE2, only for it to be requisitioned for use in the Falklands War – so he worked in the kitchens to feed the British fighting forces.
He opened Via Vecchia as a delicatessen in 1992. Four years later he turned it into a bakery pure and simple. At the time there was nothing like it in the city – selling beautiful home baked breads ranging from rustic French classics to ciabatta to wonderfully English cheese and Marmite loaves.
Former licensee of the Blue Bell, Jim Hardie, took over in 2015. Via Vecchia was joined by the Bluebird Bakery which opened on Little Shambles in 2015.
In its new incarnation, Pinder & Scott will create one new job – and that could expand to two or three more jobs in the coming months, Phil said.