Pop in for a treat as Wigan couple open a patisserie

Delicious desserts and chocolates are now on offer as a Wigan couple expand their business by opening their first shop.
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Experienced pastry chef Andrew Harwood and his partner Sarah Frazer set up Harwoods Patisserie around two years ago, providing macarons, chocolates and patisserie mainly for the wholesale sector.

They sold their creations at artisan markets and through home deliveries, before deciding they needed to open a shop.

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Andrew said: “We were being asked all the time if people could pick up desserts for dinner parties and afternoon teas for a special occasion. It threw up the problem that we didn’t have anywhere for people to pick up from because our kitchen was a wholesale kitchen.”

Sarah Frazer and Andrew Harwood outside Harwoods PatisserieSarah Frazer and Andrew Harwood outside Harwoods Patisserie
Sarah Frazer and Andrew Harwood outside Harwoods Patisserie

The pair managed to secure a shop on High Street in Standish and opened the doors on Saturday.

Andrew, 33, said: “We are offering patisserie based around a French-style patisserie I suppose. Most of the influences are British tastes though. We will still do really classic things like a cheesecake and caramel tart for instance, but we will make it in our own modern style so it won’t necessarily look like a generic cheesecake you find in the UK.

“We are offering freshly-made chocolates, truffles and macarons as well. We also have coffee from Liverpool, we do our own hot chocolate, we have tea from Manchester, so we have used all the surrounding areas as well supplier-wise to put on the shelves.”

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One item in the shop which came from further afield is a large fridge made in Italy, which arrived the day before opening and showcases some of the treats on offer.

Initially the shop will be run by Sarah and Andrew, who have been together for three years and live in Standish.

Andrew is an experienced pastry chef, having worked at Ribby Hall Village for several years and other venues around the country, while Sarah previously worked as a nursery teacher before joining the business.

They hope to recruit staff in the new year if the shop is a success and there are also plans to run macaron and chocolate classes.

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While the coronavirus pandemic means it is a tough time for many businesses, it has not deterred the pair from expanding their firm.

Andrew said: “We looked at this building when it came up for sale and it’s something we were looking at before Covid came.

“We have got to attack everything with a positive mental attitude, especially in these circumstances.

“Even though there are bigger restrictions on us, we have put everything in place that we have to put in place. It’s an extra couple of things to do, but we feel like we have got to really control it and control our own mindset to move forward.

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“If we are following all the guidelines and doing everything we need to do, there is no reason not to continue.”

Sarah, 29, said: “People may be scared to go out or having more meals at home and they can come and get a treat like a fancy dessert to have at home.

“We did home deliveries during the first lockdown and we did better than we thought then.”

Andrew said: “We would like people to come and see us and see what we do. We are trying to offer the classics that everyone knows.

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“I guess our aim is that if you are having a dinner party or something of an occasion, we can do all the work for you and all you need to do is put it on a plate and add something to it to get a full dessert, like some berries or ice cream.”

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