Sophie Cook is the incredible woman behind Sophie’s Kitchen Liverpool, a home-based bakery. Sophie first started baking in 2015, after struggling with an eating disorder. “Baking became my therapy, and my kitchen became my safe place. Over time it’s become my passion and something I love to do!”
As well as private orders, Sophie now provides baked goods to venues across the city including Alive Coffee in Crosby, and fellow network member Fletcher & Co. She’s keen to develop products her customers will crave. “I love experimenting and trying new things out so I always tell my customers – if you can’t find what you want on the website, just drop me a message and I’ll try my best to make it happen for you!”
Sophie has amassed a substantial following on Instagram and is known for her ‘statement bakes’ – a tasty take on current media topics and the state of UK politics. Sophie is keen to use her platform for two purposes – providing some boss baked goods, but also to raise awareness and money for mental health causes. “I’m happiest when I’ve got my girlfriend at my side, a pint and a pack of crisps.”
Kilty & Co was Founded by chef Eddie Kilty in 2018. Eddie is a rising star in the world of food, having headed up the AA Rosette kitchen at The Inn on the Lake as well as working for a host of Michelin starred chefs including Tom Kerridge, Andrew Pern and Emily Watkins.
Eddie’s range is vast, and he’s cooked for guests in some of Europe’s most beautiful private villas. The Covid-19 meant Eddie spending more time at home here in Liverpool, where he decided to diversify his offering and bring the restaurant experience to his customers through his ‘At Home with Kilty & Co’ meal kits. He’s since sold out a number of pop-up events at restaurants across the city including The Bagelry and Neighbourhood, skilfully crafting tasting menus which focus on seasonal and local produce. His signature beef-dripping popcorn is also a huge hit amongst his loyal patrons!
Eddie recently launched his latest brand – The Kilt & Mitt – which will focus on serving up contemporary pub street food for weddings, festivals and events this summer. He’s also working in collaboration with fellow network member Liam Jones – host of An Hour With An Indie and founder of Pilla – to launch The Collective Dinner, bringing together chefs and culinary students across the city to raise funds for hospitality support networks.
Picnic was launched as a healthy food delivery service by founders Lauren and Sam back in 2017. The brand gained popularity with locals following residencies in Liverpool’s Baltic Market and Grand Central Food Bazaar, their first permanent restaurant opened on Smithdown Road in 2019.
Picnic specialises in vegan and vegetarian dishes, focusing on convenient, fast food with added health benefits. From superfood salads and wholemeal wraps to plant-based burgers and freshly pressed juices, Picnic gives a convenient option for those looking for a guilt-free treat.
“Our customers describe us as ‘the beautiful inbetween’ – a place where they can indulge their fast-food craving without the guilt! We want our food to be accessible to everyone, to become a habit in our customer’s lives. Whether they choose to come and sit in with us, grab and go or have their food delivered, we’ll provide a healthy way for them to indulge.”
Sustainability is a key focus for Picnic. All ingredients are ethically sourced, 80% of the menu is vegetarian or vegan and all takeaway packaging is biodegradable or compostable. “Our goal has always been to build a sustainable business committed to offering healthier alternatives to traditional fast food. We want to provide convenient, fast food that is better for you, and better for the environment. To provide our customers with delicious, healthy choices for food on the go.”
If you’ve ever drooled over a photo of a gooey brownie or a warm cookie dough topped with ice-cream on Instagram then chances are you’ve seen The Midnight Delivery.
Founded in Liverpool, UK in 2015 owners Lloyd and Jasmin initially grew the business from the basement of Lloyd’s house, utilising social media to connect with local communities and eventually building up to opening their first store on Smithdown Road in 2018. They created a customer app that allowed them to take orders for delivery – years before Uber or Deliveroo were household names. “We just made it easy for the customer to order and receive a delicious and exciting sweet treat in the evenings.”
The business has grown considerably from its starting point in the family basement, with 8 stores located across Liverpool, Manchester and Warrington and several more in the pipeline. Innovation is one of the major contributors to their ongoing success. “We never sit still – our menu is constantly evolving to give our customers the flavours and treats they crave, and they come back to us time and time again for their favourites.”
The Midnight Delivery are currently recruiting and are keen to engage with individuals looking for a sweet business opportunity. “We want to grow the business at speed, but in a way that is sustainable and which supports our people and the local communities we serve. We’re looking for a team of store managers who are willing to put the hard work in to build their own business for the future.”
If you’ve never visited Carlisi on Dale Street, it’s safe to say you’re missing out on some of the best Italian food and drink in the city. Brothers Alessio and Federico started their business back in 2018 with the dream of bringing authentic Italian food, drinks and service to the people of Liverpool. Known for their exceptional service, the brothers go above and beyond to ensure that every customer has an experience to remember, whether they’re calling in for a quick coffee or spending an evening indulging in a deli platter and a bottle of the finest Italian wine.
Authenticity is also important to the Carlisi brothers. “We import a lot of our products directly from suppliers around Italy and we’re proud of our heritage. Our arancini are handmade in Sicily by a member of the Carlisi family, and we import the finest cheese, wine and meat from the best Italian suppliers.”
Carlisi recently partnered with local distillers Murphys Gin to create their own slice of Sicily to the UK – Agrigento Gin, named after their hometown. Every batch is hand-prepared by a member of the Carlisi family using authentic Italian ingredients and distilled locally using traditional methods. The aroma of fresh Sicilian lemons and hints of zesty orange combine with a pinch of sea salt, taking us on a journey from the mountains to the Mediterranean.
“At Carlisi we blend our proud Sicilian heritage with our presence here in Liverpool. We’ve been sharing flavours of our hometown through our food for years, and now we want a reminder on every shelf!”