A high-end Italian deli and café will open in York next month.
And the team behind it aren’t just hoping to change York’s food and drink scene – but change society too.
The Larder Club will open on Blake Street on 10 August in the premises vacated by York Cocoa House last year.
Sourcing from local suppliers, it will offer a sit down or take out experience including antipasti platters, high quality speciality coffee and authentic Italian gelato.
And it will sell a range of food and drink products from the counter.
“Whether it’s a breakfast platter filled with fruit and freshly baked pastries, a board full of authentic meats & cheeses or a dessert platter that you just can’t say no to – we have antipasti platters for everyone,” the website says.
Founded by York-born Laura Gallery, whose mission is to support the rehabilitation of women offenders, The Larder Club will be run by former prisoners.
A crowdfunding appeal by the social enterprise raised more than £14,500 for the project last year.
And although opening the deli has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, this has allowed the venture “to ensure every last detail is ready to welcome new customers”.
The space has been adapted to ensure they can welcome people for a full sit down service whilst also strictly adhering to government guidance.
Working closely alongside HMP Askham Grange, The Larder Club is focused on supporting the rehabilitation of women offenders by funding work placements and employment opportunities within a quality and professional environment.
It will also fund barista skills training for women offenders, equipping them with the art of creating great speciality coffee and a skill to increase employment.
The venture is working with other social enterprises and sourcing produce locally where possible. Key suppliers include Haxby Bakehouse, Lishman’s of Ilkley & North Star Coffee Roasters.
Laura said: “I feel passionately about empowering women to change their lives for the better and I decided to do something about it… so here is The Larder Club.
“Being York born and bred I love what Yorkshire as a county has to offer but I am also in love with Italy, where I’ve spent some brilliant times enjoying great coffee, wine and fantastic food.
“I want to offer our customers a great experience enjoying a taste of Italy whilst helping a cause that is close to my heart – the rehabilitation of women offenders.
“With this as our focus, The Larder Club not only aims to increase employment prospects for the women we work with but to also build confidence and pride within a space where every person can be valued as the individual they are.”
The Larder Club is opening for a soft launch between 4-8 August between 8am-6pm as the final part of staff training and are knocking 50% off the food bill in return for feedback. To book email [email protected]