New bakery inspired by the magic of Harry Potter opens in Alnwick

A talented cake-maker is bringing a little sparkle to her home town in time for Christmas.

Thursday, 16th December 2021, 7:00 pm
Autumn Rabbitts of Sweet Solstice, right, with Abigail Cook of NEL Fund Managers.
Autumn Rabbitts of Sweet Solstice, right, with Abigail Cook of NEL Fund Managers.

Autumn Rabbitts has been running a bespoke cake-making business from her home in Alnwick for the last seven years, creating luxury wedding cakes and other celebration cakes under the Plumb & Rabbitts brand.

Having often thought of owning her own bakery, and having been inspired by the magical associations of nearby Alnwick Castle, Autumn has now opened Sweet Solstice on Bondgate Within.

The shop offers a range of home-made pastries, patisseries and traditional British cakes.

Autumn, a trained jewellery designer, said: “I’ve loved baking ever since I was a child, and when I was working towards my Masters degree, I could see how the skills I was learning could be applied to icing and sugar work in cake baking too.

“Plumb & Rabbitts has grown through a combination of word of mouth and our social media presence, and has become a successful business in its own right, but I’ve always felt there was a gap in the market here for something which reflected some of the sparkle that Alnwick has gained from its film and historical connections.

“We imagined Sweet Solstice as the sort of bakery into which characters from JK Rowling’s books might step and will be carrying on with the magical theme, with new cakes being created every week that will each come with their own spells written on pieces of parchment.

“Being in the shadow of the castle is certainly helping to create the right kind of atmosphere and we’ve had a great response from both local people and visitors to the town in our first few days."

It has been made possible with the help of a 24,500 investment from the North East Small Loan Fund supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Autumn worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the funding.

The money has been used to furnish the new bakery, bring in equipment and support a marketing drive around the opening.

Four new jobs have also been created.

Abigail Cook, investment associate at NEL, said: “Autumn has paired her baking and design skills in a truly unique way to build one successful business and it’s exciting to be part of her plans to create another one.”

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