What's on the menu at Two Magpies' first Norfolk bakery?
PUBLISHED: 06:00 12 February 2020
The bread, cakes and pastries at its three Suffolk bakeries have won it countless foodie fans. Now Two Magpies has spread its wings and opened its first shop and cafe in the former Timberhill Bakery premises in Norwich.
You get the feeling that the team at Two Magpies really like a challenge. After opening three branches in Suffolk, at Southwold, Aldeburgh and Darsham, they've looked a bit further afield for their newest bakery cafe, taking on the premises in Norwich which were until recently home to Timberhill Bakery. So recently, in fact, that Two Magpies had just seven days between picking up the keys and re-opening to completely reconfigure the kitchen, test out the ovens, train the staff and give the cafe a fresh lick of paint.
But it's the way co-owners, husband and wife Steve Magnall and Rebecca Bishop, like it.
"We are very excited to be opening our fourth bakery, particularly as this is the first time we will move away from the coast and into the city," says Steve. "Two Magpies is building a very strong reputation in Suffolk so we hope to do the same in Norfolk and become a destination in the city for great baked goods and fantastic lunches."
Timberhill Bakery was run by Mike Sweetman and Natalie Stringer, who decided to move away from the shop and cafe to focus on other projects, including writing a recipe book.
Timberhill, which cut down its opening hours to two days a week in the autumn, was much loved by its customers for its sourdough loaves and scones and vegan and gluten free cakes.
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As Rebecca explains, the menu at Two Magpies has been created with the bakery's existing customers in mind, and they have been specially developing new recipes, including praline palmiers and a Moroccan roll made with vegan puff pastry. Two Magpies' signature sourdough will also be available as part of its range of loaves - all the bread and pastry is freshly prepared and baked on site.
"Timberhill Bakery offered a good range of vegan and gluten free options, so we have devised a new menu to cater to their customer base and also grow this side of the business," she says. "This café is a standalone site which will provide daily fresh sourdough bread, viennoiserie, cakes and a delicious lunch menu. We're introducing a whole range of new products that will all be lovingly-made by our bakers, pastry and lunch chefs."
The counter is laden with an array of delicious-looking treats including croissants, doughnuts and plump slices of cake and there is an expanded range of lunch options, including everything from fish finger sandwiches to baba ganoush. And, of course, good coffee - Two Magpies serves Allpress coffee.
Six members of Timberhill Bakery's staff have joined the team and a baker and pastry maker from the current Two Magpies team have moved over to the new Norwich branch. There are 18 staff in all and all four bakeries are overseen by general manager Yasmin Wyatt, who joined the business six months ago.
"This is a very exciting new project for us," she says. "It will be great to be in the city and to attract a whole new range of customers, from tourists to office workers and customers wanting a great lunch on the go."
Two Magpies is open from 8am-5pm seven days a week - and watch this space as there are plans to possibly start opening in the evening too.