French connection proves a winner for bakery chain

A FRENCHMAN who learnt to bake in his home city of Lyon, is planning to open several bakery outlets in Yorkshire.

Alpha Kebe has launched his second Croissant d'Or operation, in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, after setting up the business in Rawdon, Leeds.

Mr Kebe said the outlets had the "look and feel of a genuine French caf and bakery in the heart of Yorkshire".

Mr Kebe came to England seven years ago, began working with a friend who had a bakery in London, and quickly realised there was a demand in the UK for French breads and croissants. So, he returned to Lyon to learn the art of baking.

On his return to the UK, in 2002, having acquired the skill and patience to make fresh croissants, pastries and bread by hand, Mr Kebe visited Leeds where he met and married Tina who encouraged him to follow his dreams of running his own bakery.

Another part of the business that has grown steadily is the wholesale delivery service of fresh breads, croissants and other patisserie products to local restaurants and shops.

Mr Kebe, who was last night named male entrepreneur of the year at the inaugural Yorkshire Black Enterprise Convention 2007, said: "We have many loyal customers and are open seven days a week.

"Everything we serve is baked or cooked from scratch, using classic French recipes and, along with our breads, croissants and a variety of patisserie and vienoiserie produce, we also sell a range of freshly made sandwiches."

He now has plans to add more outlets to the chain.

The business has received advice and assistance from West Yorkshire Ventures, which is funded by Yorkshire Forward and which aims to support new businesses which have the potential to grow rapidly into sustainable high-growth business and create jobs.