A pair of friends have made a dramatic start to their business together after a showcase of their baking prowess caught the eye, and the taste buds, of a theatre manager.
When the March 2020 Covid-19 lockdown forced Wellingborough s Castle Theatre to close its doors and furlough their staff, one inspired member of the box office team seized the opportunity to launch her dream business, Puds 'n' Guds, baking delicious cakes and desserts.
Now, with the theatre once again open to the public, Lucy Partridge-Underwood’s hugely popular venture has been championed by theatre managers Parkwood Leisure and she, alongside her business partner Sara Johnson, will expand Puds ‘n’ Guds and launch their dine-in franchise at the Wellingborough venue from September.
Growing her business during lockdown, she returned from furlough with treats for her colleagues that caught the eye of Castle Theatre managing director, Tony Doherty, resulting in Puds 'n' Guds providing a range of savoury lunches, afternoon teas and cakes to the public.
Mr Doherty said: “Whilst it’s been a relief to see The Castle doors back open and customers returning we’re also hoping that Puds 'n' Guds will be the icing on the Castle cake.”
In September 2020, following six months of furlough from her role as box office assistant, Lucy, a keen and talented baker, had shared a Facebook post asking whether there was a demand for cake slice delivery in the local area.
With orders coming in she was joined by her friend, photographer and celebration cake creator Sara Johnson, to keep up with demand and Puds ‘n’ Guds was born.
Over the next nine months the business grew from strength to strength, expanding their range from cakes and puddings to afternoon teas, celebration cakes and savoury platters, all delivered within the local area.
Returning to the theatre in April 2021 Lucy, to the delight of the team, brought with her a selection of sweet treats to sample leading to the contract.
Lucy and Sara said: “It’s crazy how quickly it’s taken off and we are so pleased that we have the backing of Castle Theatre and Parkwood Leisure to expand the business. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity.”
No stranger to Castle Theatre, Lucy has been involved with the venue prior to its opening in 1995. She has worked as a steward, in the kitchen, behind the bar, and is currently a part of the box office team and also a duty manager.
Sara has also previously worked at Castle Theatre as a member of the bar team back in 2006, before pursuing a career as a wedding photographer.
Puds ‘n’ Guds officially launches at Castle Theatre, offering a range of savoury lunches and afternoon teas from Monday, September 6.
The café will have a soft launch during National Afternoon Tea week from Monday, August 9 to Friday, August 13.