Paul’s Rob Hodges on how the new bak­ery rolls

En­joy the aroma of baguettes bak­ing at Paul’s freshly opened premises in Cabot Place

The Wharf - - Canary Wharf - Jon Massey

E ven those with se­ri­ous is­sues about change are un­likely to kick up much of a fuss about Paul’s Ca­nary Wharf re­lo­ca­tion. After 13 years at the bot­tom of the up es­ca­la­tors in Cabot Place, the French bak­ery is now at the bot­tom of the down es­ca­la­tors, a few dozen feet from its orig­i­nal home and re­opened to the pub­lic on Mon­day.

It’s un­likely the shift to the unit formerly known as David Clu­low Op­ti­cians (an­other mi­cro mover in the same mall) will cause more than mild con­fu­sion in the minds of faith­ful cus­tomers.

A lit­tle ex­tra breath­ing space will al­low the chain to of­fer more on-site how­ever.

“We wanted a big­ger lo­ca­tion,” said Paul op­er­a­tions man­ager Rob Hodges. “We wanted to re­fresh and we’ve been able to dou­ble the size of the seat­ing area. Also, our kitchen has dou­bled in size so we’re able to do a lot more here now.

“There’s even a win­dow so you’re able to look in and see the bak­ers at work – we’re go­ing to be bak­ing fresh baguettes so you’ll be able to see the baguettes go­ing into the oven and com­ing out still warm and fresh.”

Watch­ing things is also firmly on the agenda front of house on the patis­serie side of the busi­ness.

A big­ger unit means Paul now has space for a cake dec­o­ra­tion sta­tion with ex­tra staff taken on to deal with the ex­pected rise in busi­ness.

“There will be a lot more in­ter­ac­tion, it’s go­ing to help the cus­tomer jour­ney as well be­cause the space is big­ger and brighter,” said Rob.

“We’ll be do­ing cake dec­o­ra­tion on the counter – fin­ish­ing off cakes and do­ing some sam­pling, that sort of thing.

“We have got some boards and they will say what time we will be do­ing each demon­stra­tion so peo­ple can drop in and see.”

Cus­tomers can choose be­tween high stools for peo­ple-watch­ing at the front of the cafe or larger ta­bles for three or four de­signed to ac­com­mo­date small meet­ings dur­ing the week or tired shop­pers at week­ends. And what will they be buy­ing? “Our num­ber one seller is a ham and cheese sand­wich cost­ing £3.95,” said Rob. “It’s a very sim­ple thing but it’s our best seller. After that you have the iconic crois­sants and pain au cho­co­lat, and then there’s the Fraisier cakes which have straw­ber­ries and cream and marzi­pan.

“That’s our best sell­ing cake, es­pe­cially on a Fri­day, as we have a lot of peo­ple com­ing down and cel­e­brat­ing the end of the week.

“On June 4, we will be launch­ing a new eclair – it’s Ca­nary Wharf branded and it’s go­ing to have an image of One Canada Square printed on the choco­late plaque.

“We’re go­ing to have an area where peo­ple can watch those be­ing fin­ished on the counter.” The unit is ex­pected to re­main Paul’s busiest bak­ery in Lon­don and Rob said the brand had been tak­ing steps over re­cent months to lessen its en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. The 35-year-old added: “We are also do­ing re­us­able cups now for £3.50 and you can get a 50p dis­count if you bring one of ours or any re­us­able cup for take­away drinks. “All our cof­fee grounds go to Ca­nary Wharf Group for re­cy­cling and we stopped us­ing plas­tic straws in Fe­bru­ary. We’ve also stopped us­ing plas­tic bags for our sand­wiches and as car­rier bags, with re­cy­clable paper al­ter­na­tives in place.

“Our qual­ity is sec­ond to none – you can hear the crunch of a pain au cho­co­lat when it’s bit­ten into and that is be­cause it has been freshly baked here and it’s proved here – we stand above any of the other cof­fee shops in this area.”

Paul also of­fers cor­po­rate de­liv­ery and cater­ing op­tions from its Ca­nary Wharf bak­eries lo­cated in Cabot Place and Ju­bilee Place.

Paul op­er­a­tions man­ager Rob Hodges says a big­ger and brighter unit in Cabot Palace will help “the cus­tomer jour­ney”


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