New Opening: Tom's Cakes is coming to Ely
Further proof that our area’s indie food industry is looking to the future, Tom’s Cakes is opening another cafe and bake shop on Ely’s High Street. The site joins shops in St Ives, on Cambridge’s Mill Road and at the company’s Somersham kitchen.
Ely was an obvious next stop, explains Tom Dolby, the acclaimed baker behind the business (Observer Food Monthly hailed him “the pastry chef most stirred by the season’s harvest, starting with the early candy-pink rhubarb through to that last fuzzy yellow quince. . . A gem”).
“I’m fortunate to have had a band of loyal customers in the city from when I traded on the Farmers’ Market right back at the beginning of the business in 1998,” he says. “When we stopped the markets in 2016, many of our Ely customers followed us to our shops in St Ives or Cambridge and some still visit us at the bakery in Somersham. So when the opportunity came to get a foothold on the High Street we jumped at it. We love period buildings and this one is a beauty – right opposite the Cathedral’s medieval Sacrist’s Gate.”
Tom is famed for his cakes (Orange & Almond, Apple & Cinnamon, Hummingbird, Salted Caramel Brownie. . .) and customers can expect to find all their favourites on the counter. Baking “from scratch, using quality, natural ingredients and bringing the season’s bounty into our recipes,” Tom continues: “The focus will always be the cakes! The menu will be similar to our offering in our other shops: great British baking with a seasonal twist, savouries and light lunches, not forgetting excellent coffee and tea.”
Always keen to tailor the interior decor to the building, the Ely shop “is quite an open and airy space”, so the Tom’s Cakes team are “going for a simple, stripped back approach – a little bit more contemporary in styling inside than our other venues”.
Covid-19 put the brakes on renovations, with the contractors compelled to leave the site for 10 weeks. “Rather than planning for an opening in the early summer, we are now looking to much later in the year,” says Tom.
“One of the challenges we are all facing in the hospitality and retail sectors is that it is virtually impossible to plan anything with confidence. We’ve just got to plough on and have faith that we can all come out the other side with nice places to go to on our High Streets!”
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More by this authorAlice Ryan