As I mentioned in my last post, a big part of being back in the UK has been about helping my besties Alex and Cassie to launch their amazing new bar and wood-fired pizza venue Grumpy's in Farsley, Leeds!
I've only got a few days left in the UK now before I head off for some much needed sunshine, so just wanted to reflect on what team Grumpy's have achieved in the last month.
I chuffing LOVE the Rogerson sisters, I mean really! We first met (well not them obvs - they're sisters) when I was at uni about 14 years ago and we all worked together for Arc Inspirations in Leeds (ironically in a pizza restaurant!) . Not sure how it happened, as they're seriously cooler than me, but we became best friends!
So when I found out that my month long stay in the UK coincided pretty perfectly with them taking the plunge to follow their dreams to open their new bar Grumpy's in Leeds, I knew this was something I wanted to be part of ... in fact I needed to be, so I didn't miss out on sharing something pretty awesome with them! So I joined the team :)
Grumpy's, named after their dad Alan (who is lovely really!), is a bar and wood-fired pizza place in Farsley, on the outskirts of Leeds. Alex and Cassie live in the village and wanted to open the sort of place that they can bring their kids to in the daytime to enjoy a family friendly atmosphere, but at night it's a lively bar for kick-ass cocktails (or for me, a large vino tinto) with their friends!
The bar is housed within the historic Sunny Bank Mills in the heart of the village. For the past few years this incredible space has been undergoing a little face lift and the Gaunt family who own the mills have big plans for Sunny Bank to become an exciting multi-purpose venue incorporating gallery space, shops, events and eateries to create a cracking Yorkshire destination that has something for everyone whether local to Leeds or visiting for the day.
And it looks like they are well on their way! Having already seen new arrivals such as social enterprise Scrap Creative, pop-up event Trouble at Mill, and Grumpy's next door neighbours the lovely Mill Kitchen, Alex and Cassie had watched the development with interest and decided that as local mumtrepreneurs, now was the time to pitch their vision to the mill owners for a lively bar serving craft beer and cocktails, alongside classic 11" Roma style wood fired pizzas. Grumpy's was born!
Only when I flew in from Fuerteventura, they weren't quite there yet! With a week or so to go until launch night, the place was still a bit of a building site and we were going to be pretty pushed to make it happen!
If there's one thing I know about the Rogersons though, it's that they're not afraid of hard work and with over 30 years experience in hospitality between them at some of Leeds best bars and restaurants, they know what it takes to launch an awesome venue!
It took several very long days of incredibly hard work, a little wine tasting for fun, furnishing an entirely empty space (partly with the contents of their own homes), making friends with a 400C pizza oven, a couple of wobbly moments and mostly amazing team work between lots of people that care about each other, but Grumpy's launched as planned in February.
Farsley's newest arrival is a light, bright, friendly venue serving clean, classic Roma style pizza and awesome desserts by day, and then becoming a lively bar with great drinks at night!
All the pizzas on the menu are named after the girls' favourite grumpy Bill Murray characters (obviously) and it's been a real labour of love from chef Daley to perfect not only the golden risen crust and crisp, light dough, but also amazing combinations that really pack a punch. Vincent is not just any old ham and mushroom pizza - it's topped with smoky Italian cured speck, earthy portobello mushrooms and a few extra cubes of cheddar to add a little boost to the mozzarella. And who knew blue cheese worked on a pizza?! Bob topped with a drizzle of homemade nut-free pesto, fresh basil leaves and some extra prosciutto is like the best bacon and blue cheese combo ever. FIT.
Team that with yummy meat & cheese sharing boards, fresh salads, gluten-free pizzas, great kids options and the rather epic ice cream cookie sandwiches and you certainly won't go home hungry!
Equally, if you just fancy a few drinks on a Saturday nights, they've got a flexible cocktail menu featuring some classics such as Espresso Martini and modern twists, including the Saint Jude, named after their mum, a very easy to drink combination of portobello road gin, elderflower cordial, lemon and prosecco. Plus a very healthy beer board full of IPAs, porters, stouts, session ales, rye beers, lagers and gluten free beers by some of the best craft drinks brands around including Beavertown, Magic Rock and Bad Co.
Sounds like a pretty good night out to me!
Job done girls! In a short space of time Grumpy's has gone from being a little bit of a pipe dream to becoming a super cool venue in Farsley that reflects everything Alex and Cassie set out to achieve and what the local community had been crying out for. And all because they decided now was the time to create the lifestyle and business that works for them! #mumbosses.
4 weeks after their launch and Grumpy's is already a firm local favourite and with plans in the pipeline for quizzes, events, craft workshops and outdoor seating, it looks like Farsley really might be the next place to be after all.
I'm super proud to have been part of it :)
So now its time to hang up my Grumpy's apron for the moment, but I do so knowing my girls have got it down. I'm flying off to back to Fuerteventura, but if you're ever in Farsley sometime soon, please go say hello to these amazing sisters and support Grumpy's!
Follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with my plans or get in touch if you’re interested in working with me on some awesome ideas of your own!