An ex Army officer has swapped his combats to open a Harrogate café inspired by his Scandinavian roots. Paul Rawlinson, 28, has launched Baltzersen’s, which offers a menu using the finest Yorkshire ingredients and produce to deliver a taste of the Nordic north. Baltzersen’s has even selected a Yorkshire based importer of high grade loose tea, The Tea Experience, as its sole supplier of teas.

Paul, who was commissioned at the same time as Prince William and trained at Sandhurst, served as an officer for 5 years in the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. When he left the army in 2011 he decided on a complete career change. Baltzersen’s, which opened this month and created 10 new jobs in the town, was named after Paul’s grandma, Liv Baltzersen, who also encouraged his passion for good food.

The café on Oxford Street, Harrogate, offers Scandinavian style food and top quality beverages, including a diverse range of premium loose teas and fruit teas from speciality tea company, The Tea Experience, based in Doncaster. The Tea Experience, founded by Ann Davis, who also changed a career in HR with the Royal Mail to set up her company, originally selling China teapots and now offers a whole tea experience. Paul also sources his coffee from Bradford based roaster, Limini Coffee.

Paul Rawlinson said: “I am delighted to launch this new business venture drawing on my Norwegian family background. I started to seriously develop the idea whilst on operations in Afghanistan in 2010, it was a lucky coincidence that Scandinavian food was tipped as the hottest UK culinary trend in 2011 and Scandinavian design has been so prevalent in fashion and the media over the last couple of years. At Baltzersen’s we take family recipes handed down from as far back as 1919 and bring them up to date with modern flavours.

“I am passionate about the provenance of food and drink and determined to source local ingredients in the region, wherever possible, so when I discovered a Yorkshire based tea importer with such amazing quality blends, I knew I had found my tea supplier.”

Ann Davis, founder, The Tea Experience said: “We are excited to supply our teas to Baltzersens. Paul has a wonderful new business and I’m sure it will become a destination café in Harrogate for fresh and flavoursome food and drink.”