27-year-old Teesside entrepreneur Sophie expands business empire with second Sunday café in Norton

Sunday in Guisborough and, inset, Sophie Dale and Finn Forster
-Credit: (Image: UGC)

From cookies and coffee to pancakes and acai - one Teesside businesswoman has found the key to all things sweet.

Sophie Dale, the owner of cookie brand Maple & Dough and Sunday, a sit-in café in Guisborough, is expanding her empire. The 27-year-old set a “ little personal goal” to open a second Sunday venue before she was 30 - and she’s already achieved her dream.

Sunday, which is located just four doors down from the Bow Street bakery, has proved so popular in its first year of opening that the Nunthorpe woman decided it was time to expand. The second Sunday café will open its doors in Norton in July - and it’s double the size of Sophie’s first café.

Sophie posted on Instragram announcing the news. The post stated: “A week ago we got our keys to our second site in NORTON, the old Rountons Coffee House- and we cannot WAIT to be part of a beautiful quaint village & have a SUNDAY GARDEN (with outdoor seating to boot front and back!).

“By far this is my biggest scariest decision ever but after an amazing year and an opportunity I couldn't miss, I just had to do it. Plenty of you guys travel to our Guisborough shop so Norton was a perfect area to connect us to lots of surrounding areas, are we closer to you now?

“I can't wait to keep you all updated on this as its looking beautiful already. Opening may be sooner than you think- NEXT MONTH! All my girls and me have been working behind the scenes to get this show on the road and we honestly can't wait. Thank you to my team for pushing me - couldn't ask for a better!”

-Credit:Sophie Dale
-Credit:Sophie Dale

Speaking to Teesside Live, Sophie told how her dog friendly Guisborough venue was “so busy” with people travelling from across the North-east, including Newcastle and Durham, so she “decided to take the risk”. The business owner and her “amazing” team have dusted the “Sunday vibes” across the new café turning it all things pink.

Admittedly, Sophie explained that it has been a “big job” but is well on the way to the “mid to late July” opening date. When Sophie launched Sunday, her vision was serving up a menu of "plant-based and gluten free options" with "acai bowls, pancake stacks, smoothies and more". And one year on, the business is thriving.

Sunday Norton will be the second venue in the business - and it will be delivering the exact same food and drinks as the Guisborough branch. “We’ve stuck with what we were going for,” Sophie explained.

-Credit:Sophie Dale
-Credit:Sophie Dale

“I didn’t know how people would react to it. Not many people had heard of an acai round here!” She admitted that it was a daunting concept providing a menu without meat or eggs on - but it’s worked in her favour.

Customers devour stacked pancakes, sourdough toasts, loaded oats and acai bowls - with the huge menu of different toppings, drinks and smoothies. Sophie has put together a completely new team for her Norton café - which will have around 60 covers in total - and began training up six members of staff in the Guisborough branch ahead of the launch.

The café and cookie extraordinaire has also ventured into the market of matcha launching her own ‘amazing quality Japanese matcha’ which is available to buy in store and online. Sunday Matcha is branded as the ‘perfect, greener, alternative to coffee’ and is a hit with Sunday customers.

-Credit:Sophie Dale
-Credit:Sophie Dale

Sophie explained that it’s “really popular” in store, as the business is split with 50% coffee and 50% - “which is unheard of really”. The matcha idea came around as Sophie tried her first matcha last summer and “hated it”.

“I didn’t understand the hype (at all) until I properly started researching Matcha. Then- I was obsessed- a full convert!,” she said. Visit the Sunday Instagram page for more information here.

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