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Introducing the team behind The Last Crumb

Paula, Helen and Jamie

A new café and bakery has just opened in the former Foxlow building in Stoke Newington, with a work hub to follow soon.

The Last Crumb has been launched by best friends Paula Chapman and Helen Collier, who met at drama school, and Helen’s nephew, Jamie, who is Head Chef.

The trio have been hard at work for months planning the look, feel, infrastructure and flavours of their new business, which occupies one of N16’s biggest restaurant spaces.

The café side of the business is a homage to their friends and families, with recipes passed down the generations, and the bird logo a nod to Paula and Helen’s pet name for each other ‘bird.’

It’s the latest business to sign up to the Local Buyers Club, with a 10% discount on food to members.(More details here)

“Having my own café is a dream come true – I’m a real perfectionist. If it isn’t perfect, it’s not leaving the kitchen.”

Helen, who trained as a pastry chef with Le Cordon Bleu, said: “We love the stories behind food – there’s a reason for everything we put on the menu, harlequin tart – because that’s what my dad always made us and wine cake because it reminds me of a friend.

“Having my own café is a dream come true – I’m a real perfectionist. If it isn’t perfect, it’s not leaving the kitchen.”

She describes the menu, which will include all-day brunch options, as “simple, fresh and seasonal.”

Jamie, 29, who recently became a father and previously worked as a head chef at Davy’s in Holborn, said his meals are: “tasty, well-presented, seasonal and with good-sized portions. I don’t want anyone to leave feeling they’ve spent their money but are still hungry.”

One of his popular dishes is a pistachio ham hock served with a crispy egg and chips. Other Last Crumb favourites include potted smoked mackerel with pickles and toasted sourdough, a full English breakfast with scotch egg and vegan and gluten free options too. In the evenings the team plan to host supper clubs with guest chefs.

Helen and fellow pastry chef Abi Denton are preparing cakes, pastries and desserts to eat in or takeaway.

They picked up the keys on October 6th and it has been a whirlwind preparing the building. The décor is light and bright with a few colourful accents. The work is being carried out by Helen’s partner Adrian Mannion, who runs his own building firm and whose investment has helped make the dream a reality.

Downstairs the Last Crumb Work Hub, which will open some weeks after the café, will have super-fast wifi, a glass wall to block the noise from upstairs, a meeting room with conference facilities, sofa area and plenty of plugs and USB points. There’ll be a good supply of tea and filter coffee as well as pastries made on-site. And they’re offering members a free monthly surgery with a professional accountant.

Those wishing to work there can sign up to a monthly tariff or choose to pay ad-hoc for a full-day or half-day.

Paula, who has a one-year-old son, and Helen, who has three grown up step children, met at The Academy Drama School at Whitechapel and both enjoyed acting careers – Helen in plays and panto and, as well as appearing in Heartbeat, Paula starred in adverts for Mini Cooper, Fanta, the NHS and Peugeot. The most memorable play they appeared in together was as a pair of racy nuns.

Paula went on to work in media distribution for TV commercials and Helen became a pastry chef and worked at Stour Café in Hackney Wick.

Explaining the reason behind the café’s name, Helen said: “The first market stall I ever had was selling cupcakes. I was nervous, as I’d only been a home cook up until then. A lady came and bought a cake, half an hour later I saw her coming back and thought ‘uh oh’, but she said: ‘That was worth every penny – right down to the last crumb.’ I decided then that it would be my business name one day.”

The Last Crumb employs around 12 full time staff.

What is the Local Buyers Club?

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We've negotiated discounts for our members at dozens of fantastic restaurants, shops, bars and businesses throughout North and East London. We help promote them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally.

Join Local Buyers Club and, for just £12 per year, you'll be helping to support local business and you'll receive a discount card to use at any of the 90+ businesses listed on the site. Find out how it works


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