Love Brownies was launched because the founders, a Yorkshire couple who now live in the Dales, had a love of good food and the luxury of beautifully wrapped gifts, and wanted to combine those in business.
Brownies were the treat of choice because whilst deciding where to take the business, the founders attended a wedding where they were served brownies for dessert and whilst eating them, they thought that they could make even better bakes – and so they set about trying!
Love Brownies started out life in Ilkley, but over the last few years the company has grown, with franchises up and down the UK. Then, last week, Love Brownies opened its 16th store in Victoria Gate, Leeds. To celebrate their opening, they had a launch event which unfortunately I wasn’t able to make. I was keen to learn more about the new café and shop in Leeds, so I reached out to the team to sort out a chat. They were happy to help out, so I headed over to Victoria Gate early this week. I chatted to some of the Love Brownies team and also tried out some of their goods. I mean, it would have been rude not to!
The new Victoria Gate café and shop, which is open 7 days a week, offers an array of handmade brownies as well as hot and cold drinks and a small but carefully designed breakfast and lunch menu. The Victoria Gate store will be the Love Brownies ‘flagship location’ and ‘innovation store’ where the team will test out new flavours and menu items before they are launched across the network of Love Brownies cafes. I was told that the Love Brownie brand is keen to support the local community and offers a big table in the concourse area of Victoria Gate where they are suggesting that people come together to chat – something that I thought was really cool, and certainly something that we could all do with sometimes.
I was able to combine chatting to the team and learning about their work and plans for the future, with trying out a selection of Love Brownies goodies. I had one of their salted caramel traditional brownies, which was rich, moist and delicious – everything you could want in a brownie. I am going to have to go back to try the brownie warm because I think that could be a whole new level of deliciousness. Unlike so many other cafes that have a limited vegan selection, Love Brownies has an equally large selection of vegan brownies to their ‘traditional’ range. I opted for the raspberry vegan brownie because raspberry and chocolate is a flavour combination that is hard to beat. Although the vegan treat had a different texture to a traditional brownie – more like fudge – it tasted fabulous, with raspberry flavours running through the whole slice.
I also tasted the Northern Bloc vegan soft serve ice cream, which the Love Brownies team is trialling in Leeds. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a non-diary soft serve, but when I tasted it, I was amazed at how creamy was and loved the texture – silky smooth. The soft serve was an ideal accompaniment to the rich brownies, and certainly something that I would order again.
On the recommendation of the team, I sampled the decadent hot chocolate. I was amazed at how chocolatey it was – and learned this was because it was made without powder, instead using only chocolate and cream. It was very rich, and I’m glad that I only had a small cup, but the hot chocolate was delicious and I wouldn’t hesitate to treat myself to a cup next time I’m in town. After all, it is autumn, and with the winter ahead, we need all the comfort we can get!
I had a brilliant time at Love Brownies and enjoyed everything I tried. I am not convinced by the need for a savoury menu as their sweet treats were just so good, but I will go back to the café to give their other dishes a try before discounting it completely. Next time you’re in Victoria Gate – or indeed in any of the areas where Love Leeds can now be found, why not do the same? It’ll be interesting to see what other flavours and treats are developed in this innovative and welcoming store.