Manchester’s Black Milk reports its ecommerce sales have quadrupled through lockdown, with the dessert café now selling its signature ‘secret sauces’ nationally in the UK and into Europe.
Operating out of its Northern Quarter café, the dessert enthusiasts have recruited five new employees since April to support the growing online demands from fans, shoppers, and bakers.
The creative dessert café now supplies its sauces and spreads across Europe, with sales in the Netherlands and Ireland making up 20 per cent of the e-business.
BlackMilkCereal.com offers customers the chance to enjoy Black Milk from the comfort of their own home.
The site stocks the brand’s iconic Hazelnut Spread along with Salted Caramel, White Chocolate, and Hazelnut Sauce, as well as imported confectionery treats and home baker essentials. Shoppers can also buy the products in catering volumes to use in their own cafes and bakeries.
Managing Director of Black Milk, Andy Young, said: “It has always been in our business plan to grow the retail side of Black Milk, in many ways lockdown was a mixed blessing. Losing our cafes and events meant that we now had the opportunity to fully dedicate the time to developing our online offering.
“It has been an incredibly steep learning curve figuring out how to dispatch thousands of orders a month, but the feedback remained strong and rewarding on our social media channels.”
Black Milk first branched out from the café through collaborations, hosting ‘evening with’ events with famous chefs and brands across Manchester, such as Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing and Selfridges.
Growing its social media presence from day one, the dessert experts were inundated with requests to purchase their ‘secret sauces and spreads’ online – resulting in the sale of its Hazelnut Spread online through the web shop in September 2019.
Founder Olly, added: “Losing the cafe for three months allowed us to jump 12 months ahead of where we thought we would be with our retail offering. The second the door to the cafe was locked, we put our full focus on reaching our guests at home, now they could no longer visit us.
“Now the Manchester cafe is back we have we’ve added a whole retail section, along with the option to click and collect items from the website.”
Hazelnut spread remains the number one top seller, this month the café launched its first Black Milk Cookies and Cream sauce. Next to be release is its first Black Milk chocolate bar…
Black Milk Northern Quarter is open seven days a week, with seating inside and outside. From Monday 3rd August it will offer discounts Monday to Wednesday as part of the governments ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme.
photo credit Louis Cannell