A month after her daughter Anya was born, Kristy Giblin made the unusual decision to start a business. Her love of baking and family reputation as a great pudding maker, along with her brother Greg’s business know-how, has resulted in the Pudding Parlour, a shop selling all manner of desserts and sweet treats on Hexham’s Haugh Lane industrial estate.
Twenty-nine-year-old Kristy started selling puddings from her kitchen in February last year. ‘I’ve always baked, much to my husband’s horror,’ she laughs. ‘I was always making a mess of his kitchen.’ Kristy’s huband Rob doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, so rather than eating the results he suggested she sell the things she was making. It wasn’t until after Anya was born last January that Kristy really considered it. ‘Any extra money when you have a baby is a godsend, so I thought we’d give it a try,’ she explains. She put up a Facebook selling page, featuring a few of the puddings her family most enjoyed at their weekly Sunday lunch. ‘It just went crackers. I was getting so many orders for cheesecake and boxes of brownies a week,’ she recalls. Soon local pubs were also getting in touch asking her to supply them with puddings.
At this point, Kristy enlisted help in the form of her younger brother, Greg. ‘I really didn’t have the time to dedicate to it with having a baby,’ she explains. Twenty-three-year-old Greg had just finished studying Business and Accountancy Management and their combined expertise seems to be a great mixture. Greg was willing to shoulder some of the growing workload, and was full of ideas. His friends had talked about how they would love to have a delivery service for puddings, and there wasn’t one in the local area. Kristy agreed to give the idea a month’s trial, and it was a huge hit. ‘We were just taking so many bookings every Saturday night,’ says Kristy. It got so busy, in fact, that they ran out of space. ‘We literally couldn’t facilitate working from home any longer, so we started looking for premises.’ The Pudding Parlour was born.
The Pudding Parlour takeaway opened in November. Kristy and Greg cater for parties, pubs and restuarants, but the shop itself was only supposed to be a small part of what they do. However, it’s turned out to be the busiest part of the business. ‘It’s totally unexpected,’ Kristy laughs. ‘We have hundreds and hundreds of people coming in through the doors each week.’ The selection of puddings on offer changes every day, but Ferrero Rocher cheesecake, cookie dough pie and marshmallow fluffcups are among the most popular options. ‘We really didn’t want to be another cupcake shop,’ Kristy says firmly. ‘We might have the odd cupcake if it’s a unique flavour or experiment, but really we want to be about puddings.’
To this end, The Pudding Parlour produces an experimental bake every day. ‘We’ll just decide that morning what we’re going to make,’ says Kristy. ‘I can just lose myself concocting something in the kitchen.’ Kristy enjoys experimenting, and has big plans for Easter. ‘We’ll still be doing our Creme Egg brownies, we’re doing Creme Egg cheesecake, and golden eggs in lovely little pink egg boxes.’ They also run cake decorating classes, themed cake classes, and baking classes, where you can learn how to make The Pudding Parlour’s signature bakes.
When they worked from home, Kristy and Greg were constantly asked when they were going to have a shop. Now they are besieged by questions about a possible Pudding Parlour café. ‘People are never satisfied!’ Kristy laughs. They are certainly looking to the future. This summer there will be a new seating terrace outside the Parlour as a trial run for a café, and they plan to open a new base from which they can expand their delivery radius, which currently reaches from Haydon Bridge down the Tyne Valley to Ryton. ‘Greg and I both say it’s not like having a real job because it’s such good fun,’ Kristy smiles. ‘It’s literally getting paid for doing something that you love.’
The Pudding Parlour, Haugh Lane Industrial Estate, Hexham NE46 3PU