British Business Bank helping bring Portuguese patisserie to Glasgow with launch of Pastéis Lisboa on Byres Road

An entrepreneurial couple are tomorrow note-0opening their new bakery in Glasgow specialising in Portuguese custard tarts after receiving funding via the British Business Bank – with plans to open more venues, including in Edinburgh.

Emma Airley and Sebastian Bacewicz are launching Pastéis Lisboa on Byres Road in the city’s West End, making up to 1,200 tarts – known as pastéis de nata – from scratch every day, backed by a £40,000 loan from Transmit Start-Ups through the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme.

The shop will also include a deli, selling premium cured meats, cheeses, seafood and more from Portugal and Spain, plus craft sodas and fresh juices, small batch coffees, fresh bread from Freedom Bakery, and handmade sandwiches made from Scottish ingredients.

The couple have also developed a vegan version of the custard tarts with a fifth-generation Portuguese patisserie chef, and will be introducing seasonal flavour variations.

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Ms Airley said: “What we’re launching is a unique concept to Scotland – in fact, there is nothing like it beyond London. While many people will have tried a pastel de nata before, they most likely won’t have had a fresh one made with fresh, high-quality ingredients to an authentic, traditional recipe.

"We specifically went to the people who made the best pastéis de nata in Lisbon and learned the art of making these delicious treats during frequent trips there over the last four years. Glaswegians are known for having a sweet tooth – and we are absolutely convinced they will go down a storm.”

Pastéis Lisboa comes after the couple in 2015 launched Ciora Scotland, an e-commerce supplier of handmade sheepskin and wool products, ranging from slippers and socks, to rugs, bedding and other homewares.

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Sebastian Bacewicz and Emma Airley are debuting Pastéis Lisboa, which aims to make up to 1,200 tarts from scratch every day. Picture: Peter Devlin.

Regarding their newest venture, they aim to look at multiple locations once the first bakery is up and running, with plans to open in Edinburgh next year, and offer catering services for offices and private events, and wholesale supply.

Ms Airley, whose family has been in the hospitality industry since the 1950s, said: “With Ciora well established, we’re hugely excited to be realising a long-held dream of opening our own unique food business… We started planning Pastéis Lisboa five years ago after being inspired by the new wave of modern pastelarias in Lisbon, and seeing how successfully the model worked in other international markets.”

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Pastéis Lisboa is one of more than 800 businesses in Glasgow to have received more than £7 million altogether in funding from the Start Up Loans programme since the scheme launched in 2012.

Barry McCulloch, senior manager, UK network – Scotland at the British Business Bank, said: “The Start Up Loans initiative was designed to enable entrepreneurs like Emma and Sebastian to access funding through alternative avenues, helping local businesses to thrive.

"Pastéis Lisboa is a great example of how an entrepreneurial couple’s great idea for something unique in their local area can become a reality with the right support, including a range of resources provided through our network of delivery partners to help with business plans, accounting, marketing and more.”

Sid Kochar, the couple’s business adviser at Transmit Startups, said: “I loved working with them through the application process, and I was especially impressed by the level of research they’d carried out to scope out their business idea.”

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