We get the inside scoop on Porterhouse’s expansion plans for 2019

There is no doubting that Leeds is an amazing city for independent businesses, especially for food and drink. The number of regular food festivals and, of course, Leeds Indie Food Festival, are testament to the strength and depth that Leeds has to offer. 

One business you might have heard of (or eaten a part of) is Porterhouse Cake Co., which is running a Kickstarter campaign launching this week to help fund an expansion. But how did the business get to this point, and what is the Porterhouse plan? Here’s what you need to know.

Back in 2017, Liz Richardson left her desk job to pursue a career in baking, something which had been her hobby for several years. She started marketing her bakes through Instagram and got her first wholesale customer in Oakwood, at Stories (now Matt Healy’s Grön). 

2019 01 28 Porterhouse Cake Co Kickstarter Main Image
Liz Richardson ditched her desk job and started Porterhouse in 2017

It didn’t take long to “break” the city centre though, and she soon added Laynes to the list. Undoubtedly the busiest café in the city centre, demand and exposure went through the roof. She has since supplied Tall Boys (RIP), Stage Espresso, Workshop in Headingley, Pudsey’s Feed and has recently added Vanguard, Duncan Street’s new café-bar from the team behind Domino Club and Roland’s. You might have even sampled her doughnuts at North Bar for Leeds Indie Food, or at the Belgrave Feast, Eat North or Leeds Feast.

As a one-woman business though, the demand has finally overwhelmed Porterhouse – at least in its current guise. February sees an ambitious expansion into an industrial unit on Armley Link, next to Anthology Brew Co., with whom Richardson hopes to collaborate on one-off products and on-site pop-ups. 

There’s new branding in the pipeline too, plus a delivery vehicle, staff and a counter in the unit so that she can have bakery days for people who want to pop in for still-warm bakes.

There has also been an increased demand for wedding and event cakes, which saw her attend a course that has ignited a passion for the grand, bespoke creativity that lends itself to one-off events. The expansion and the hiring of staff is designed to free her up to focus on this area of the business more closely.

2019 01 28 Porterhouse Cake Co Celebration Cake
Porterhouse celebration cake

On to the Kickstarter campaign then. Crowdfunding has certainly become something of a financial phenomenon, with recent local examples such as Yakumama (nearly £18,000) and Manjit’s (over £40,000) proving that there is both support and demand from the local community. 

Porterhouse is asking for £10,000 to fund the conversion of the unit, the necessary commercial bakery equipment, a delivery vehicle and staff. If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, those who pledge have the choice of several rewards for their money, and Porterhouse has come up with over twenty for all budgets, including brownies and cakes, baking workshops, launch party tickets and even celebration or wedding cakes for special events. There’s also a very special one-off collaboration with twelve Leeds artists – a set of recipe cards with some beautiful accompanying illustrations.

If you want to check out the rewards and make a pledge, head on over to the Porterhouse Kickstarter page by clicking here.

Follow Porterhouse on Instagram: @porterhousecakeco / Facebook: Porterhouse Cake Co / Twitter: @porterhousecake

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- W E A R E L I V E ! - the Porterhouse Cake Co Kickstarter page is now up and running!! 🎉🤯🙌💪😱 Here is a short edit of the campaign video (turn sound on to hear me being awkward!) but to see the video in full and to browse through all the tasty rewards go to my profile and click the link in my bio for all the delicious details! 🍰 Get in touch via DM or email with any questions about rewards or date availability. The first 24 hours of any Kickstarter campaign are crucial to it's success, so if you are a long time supporter or just on board with the project please share the hell out of it on any platform you use!! THANK YOOOOUUUUUUUU! 🙏 The campaign video and all the great little vids and screenshots I've been posting are by @opal_video - give her a follow! . . . #kickstarter #crowdfinding #growth #rewards #leeds #leedsfood #leedsfoodscene #leedsfoodie #bakery #smallbatch #smallbusiness #onewomanshow #handmade #independent #independentleeds #pastry #pastrychef #yorkshire
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