On the day of its opening, Glen’s Bakehouse in Anna Nagar has small but steady pools of people peering at the counter, waiting to place orders for chocolate pastry, chicken croissants and overwhelmingly, blueberry cheesecake.
This popular brand from Bengaluru was registered in 2011 but started way back in the 1980s by founder Glen Williams who also began the patisserie brand Sweet Chariot and is also one of the partners at Toit brewpub. Now, they have set up shop in a white bungalow — their signature style of venue — along a tree-lined neighbourhood in Anna Nagar. Though the cafe just opened, the outdoor seating area is already busy with several groups of friends catching up over coffee while the rest are on laptops, possibly looking for cake-fuelled motivation to work.
“Mondays in Bengaluru are a little dull. I guess it takes some time for people to get out of the weekend spirit. Chennai seems different. Though today is a Monday, it felt like a weekend. I like the response,” says Glen’s friend and business consultant Vincent Machado who has been overseeing the opening.
Since the cafe opened this morning, it has played host to customers walking in to get their hands on a free mini cupcake each, in addition to about 15 influencers ,says Sruti R Iyer, from, Hotkhana, the marketing firm handling the promotions of the brand. Which probably explains their glass cases towering with chocolate and red velvet button cupcakes.
The decision to bring Glen’s Bakehouse to Chennai has been in the works for a while now, says Vincent.
“There had been a demand to bring the brand outside of Karnataka to places like Telangana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu in the past but we did not want to execute it unless we were well-established in Bengaluru. Now that we have 12 outlets there, we decided to take on the master franchising model and opened our first store outside Karnataka with one of the franchisees who has worked with us in the past in Bengaluru. Other States are also on the cards,” he says.
Operations head and partner, Glen’s Bakehouse, Rajaneesh Kumar says that they have opened their first outlet in Anna Nagar was because of the active ‘foodie’ culture here. “However, the plan has always been to open across Chennai in places like Nungambakkam and Besant Nagar in the near future as part of our master-franchising model,” he adds.
The restaurant has five departments working on making fresh cakes, puffs, pizzas and the display counter besides a hot kitchen. It currently seats 100 people with an indoor air-conditioned area and a pleasant outdoor counterpart.