A new cafe in Stockport has brought a slice of Poland to the town with its massive artisan bakes. Housed inside the old town’s Market Hall, Sticky Fingers serves authentic Polish treats and freshly baked bread, paired with quality coffee.
The bakery opened just last month, but has already become a hit with locals. Husband and wife duo, Adrian and Klaudyna, originally from Poland, are the owners and have been overwhelmed with how much support they’ve received from the town; both from customers and neighbouring business owners.
“The people are really nice here, they are so open and welcome,” Klaudyna says. “I’m so happy and really thankful for everyone who has visited us already so far, it means a lot.”
As we sit down to speak with Klaudyna at their row of tables and chairs, Adrian caters to a constant stream of customers. It’s relatively busy for a Thursday morning, and on Saturdays, Klaudyna says they completely sell out – ‘to the last crumb’.
“Everything here is traditional Polish style,” Klaudyna, who is a trained pastry chef, says. “A lot of them are a brioche-style yeast cake, filled with vanilla cottage cheese, like a cheesecake on baked brioche.
“We have poppyseed and vanilla, jam and vanilla, they’re very authentic. Our cheesecakes are made with cottage cheese too, they have a more sour taste.” Also on offer from their eye-catching counter displays is apple pie with a layer of rhubarb, huge cream cakes, tiramisu, eclairs, meringue, babka, and croissants – all at affordable prices of a few quid each.
The friendly pair feel lucky to have found their unique position in the historic Market Hall, which happened by chance, and feel they’re adding to the revival of the area. “We’re in such a beautiful place, with a gorgeous view,” Klaudyna says, “there is so much around here, fresh fish, vegetables, we’re helping to bring people back here [the Market Hall].”
The couple moved to Liverpool five years ago after befriending a Brit whilst on holiday in Thailand, who encouraged them to try living in the UK. Before the cafe, Klaudyna worked as a pastry chef while Adrian worked as a lorry driver.
“We just said ‘okay!’ to our friend. The cafe had been our idea for a long time, it’s been my dream for 10 years,” the 32-year-old continues. “I kept suggesting it to Adrian then, this New Year we thought ‘let’s do it, let’s open our cafe’.
“We knew we wanted to be around Manchester, we first looked at Sale for a unit, then on the way back we went to Stockport, it was really spontaneous.” The couple still live in Liverpool and are looking for a place to live in Greater Manchester to be closer to the shop.
However, the bakery that supplies their business is 56 miles away in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. They use a team of experienced Polish bakers who bake everything from traditional recipes, overnight, which are then delivered each morning at 7am.
Klaudyna works with them to tell them exactly what they need for the next day. “We don’t sell anything into the next day,” she explains. “We’re still busy during the week, especially like when it was sunny last week, people will sit out in our deckchairs, but after 3pm sometimes we have to do deals.
“Lots of our customers are locals, British, maybe 95 percent, so sometimes they don’t know what to try so we help them, our donuts are very popular, we have people coming from Manchester too. We also have a few Polish customers.”
Adrian, 34, who walks over during a free minute, says: “We are introducing exactly what we had as a kid, I was eating these at school every day, and now we can introduce that to local people. We have customers coming back to say ‘hi.’”
“It’s the dream for everyone who wants to sell food, we get a lot of good feedback,” Klaudyna, who has always worked in hospitality, adds. She says her family is ‘very proud’ of what they have achieved here in Greater Manchester, opening a shop just like the ones in their hometown.
“In Poland bakeries like this are on every single corner, so I think they are a little surprised with how popular we are,” she laughs. The next step for Sticky Fingers – which lives up to its name, as after tucking into a delicious brioche you are left with sticky, sugary fingertips – is to start expanding their drinks offering, with cold brew coffees and teas, as Adrian considers himself a coffee connoisseur.
Sticky Fingers is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – 9am to 4.30pm – at the Market Place, Stockport, SK1 1UN. The cafe is sometimes open on Sundays too for events taking place within the Market Hall.
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