From a fledgling opening in an archway on back Piccadilly to two city centre cafes in the space of just seven years, Pollen is the Manchester bakery that needs no introduction.
Founded by bankers-turned-bakers Hannah Calvert and Chris Kelly in 2016, early fans happily queued – sometimes for hours – in the wind and rain to get their hands on its inaugural stuffed cruffins and loaves of sourdough.
It outgrew that little archway in 2018 and soon set its sights on a new location at Cotton Field Wharf near Ancoats Marina, launching a crowdfunder for the site and smashing its fundraising target in the space of just one day.
That move also saw it expand its offering, developing a new brunch menu and sandwich selection to complement its bakery and coffee counter.
Now, Pollen has grown up once again – opening a second, significantly larger site down at the new, Gay Village-adjacent garden neighbourhood, Kampus.
With a brand new menu, a covered, al fresco dining area looking out into the garden, and a sleek glass kitchen that allows diners to watch pastries being rolled and shaped whilst they brunch, it looks set to be a triumph.
Invited for breakfast ahead of its opening on Thursday 9 June, we tuck into platefuls of perfectly laminated pastries still warm from the oven – washed down with cups of steaming black coffee and fresh orange juice.
Breakfast dishes include the likes of an egg bun – the egg itself a perfectly formed square, oozing with added Westcombe cheddar and flecked with a sprig of watercress – and a BLT with smoked streaky bacon, butterhead lettuce, and house-made charred tomato ketchup.
Elsewhere, you’ll find hearty slices of sourdough topped with Pollen’s own ricotta and lardo, agretti, English broad beans and peas; a glistening Hogget shoulder hashbrown with dill sauerkraut and Neil’s Yard Creme Fraiche; and white asparagus with a soft boiled egg, walnut veloute and lovage.
The new site, conveniently close to Piccadilly for commuters hanging about before a train, enables Pollen to re-house its pastry team in a brand new kitchen.
Co-owner Chris explained: “Our second location in Kampus forms part of our evolution and growth.
“After drastically running out of space at our Ancoats bakery, the new location re-homes our pastry team in a dedicated pastry kitchen behind a glass gallery so you can see all the action taking place throughout the day and the masters at work.
“We will still serve the full range as usual at the Marina, but the new kitchen will allow us so much more creative freedom.
“With a bigger café space, we’re creating a brand new, modern, refined menu which will change with the seasons and showcasing the best produce available at the time.”
Pollen’s move to the neighbourhood kicks off a summer jam-packed with new openings, as Kampus gears up to welcome joins a raft of other lauded independents including Madre’s Mexican Taqueria, Great North Pie Company, Beeswing Wine Bar, Cloudwater beer hall and General Store.
The garden neighbourhood will also host a new night market this summer in partnership with Ancoats pop-up markets.
It officially opens its doors next week from Thursday 9 June.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.