My name is Lauren, and I am the owner of the café!
You probably won’t have heard of me. I’ve not won any awards. I’ve not worked with Michelin star chefs (I did cook with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey once as a teen which I’m ashamed to say I only recently deleted from my CV). I don’t have any claim to fame. Or shit loads of cash. I don’t have a funny gimmick that’ll get me in the news. But I work hard, I give a shit and I make a bloody good brownie.
I wanted to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about our journey so far and what to expect from us.
I’m not sure where to start, so I guess the beginning would be a good place.
I’ve worked in hospitality for a little while. I started out selling brownies (yes I’m obsessed) and sweet stuff at markets around Manchester while working a full time job that I hated, stuck in a rut from all angles and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life.
I’d studied Human Nutrition at uni, and love everything about food, so I started looking for a job in the industry (and yes, I hate myself for that at times).
I’d never waitressed before but I started as a Supervisor and seemed pretty good at it! I was promoted to Assistant Manager, then General Manager, and spent several happy years with the team at Teacup Kitchen. I then left for a change of scenery to run Railway Kitchen in Alderley Edge, from the same family as Evelyn’s and Mughli, where I expected to be for a while.
It was always a dream to have my own place, and during a visit up North from my parents (yes, I’m originally a Southerner – don’t judge me too harshly!), we had a look online at businesses for sale. The Northern Quarter is home for me, and where my support network is, so when we spotted a site on Oldham Street, I sent a nosey message. I definitely didn’t expect anything to come of it.
Caught up in the moment, I saw the cafe a few days later. Two weeks after that, I had bought a bloody café and was completely unprepared for it!
I employed the girls who worked at the café before, and kept Blue Daisy Café open to keep the cash coming in. I had no budget. I had no time. So much to do. And no fucking idea where to start!
I worked at the café and worked my notice period. Then worked at the café, and worked on ‘the plan’ when I got home. After just over two months, we were ready to redecorate and reopen as Nibble on July 12th. And get some sleep (yeah right) ! We did everything ourselves, as everything else, with help from friends, on a lambrini budget. There’s still work to be done, but we’re very proud of our new home.
It confused some of those who hadn’t wanted change. We get lots of “Ooh you’ve moved the counter.” (Never mind everything else!) And a one star review because the cups now match. Sadly, change was always going to come. There’s no point or passion in buying a business and not doing things my way. We aren’t looking to upset people or make them go elsewhere, but things can’t stay the same forever.
We’ve met loads of new customers who love what we’ve done and what we’ve made them. And they’re coming back! Which is a huge relief! We have regulars, and we’ve made lots of new friends.
So what’s changed, other than moving the bloody counter?
I wanted to make things more current and put my own twist on brunches, lunches and bakes in particular. It’s important to me that menus change seasonally, and reflect what we want to eat and drink ourselves, so expect regular changes based on availability and what we’ve seen when out and about. I’m always eating, drinking (currently writing this with a hangover) and scouring social media for new ideas, new openings and things to try.
Change makes work more exciting for us, and play more exciting for you.
We want to keep Blue Daisy’s value for money, be accessible to those with different dietary requirements, and we will continue the tradition of the salad bowl (although we now serve on a plate). For those who don’t know, this is a selection of all the salads that we create daily and display in the counter. These will be a bit more experimental than they were before, and seasonal, to give you a bit of variation each time you visit.
So now you know a bit about me, and my café.
I really hope you like it. And that we have a very happy future together.
Things are moving in the right direction, slowly but surely, and although things are never very easy in this industry and there’s still a long way to go, I am absolutely loving every second and getting to know more of you every day. Maybe I can have my cake and eat it after all.
Please keep supporting, and don’t forget to pop in for a Nibble!
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