Well it has been about six weeks since I started my new job as the café supervisor – are you missing me?? I now work at The Old School Café in Durham. This café is part of St. Margaret’s Centre in Durham which is a mental health charity community hub run for adults. The work that they do is wonderful and a lovely place to be part of so I really hope I can help the charity by running the café to the best of my abilities.

The café has taken a lot of work not only to ensure it was clean and tidy but also that all the equipment was in full working order. I spent my first few weeks with the help of some volunteers cleaning the kitchen and café and reorganising the different areas to what I am wanting to do in the café.

Once the menu had been changed and the ingredients and other foodstuffs ordered and delivered from the suppliers I was able to practice some bakes and get used to the equipment myself. Our launch day for the café was the 31st August and what a brilliantly hectic day it was. I can see that there are little problems which need ironing out but I am sure with time and more practice that we will come together as a team and make the café work 🙂

The bakes which I made for the café opening day were Cheese Scones and Fruit Scones, Chocolate Cake, Victoria Sandwich Cake, Flapjack, Rocky Road, Brownies, Sprinkles Cake, Mini Cheesecakes and of course Empire Biscuits. ( These photos are from my stock of photos and not what I baked for the café but you can see more of the bakes on the social media posts on Facebook and Instagram for the café via these links ) and see what you have been missing 🙂 Everything was homemade and seemed to be enjoyed so fingers crossed the café keeps going from strength to strength 🙂

The day after the launch day was a more restful day with a few customers coming in and I wasn’t stuck up in the kitchen as much which was nice. I’m hoping with time and effort that the volunteers who would like to bake gain confidence in the kitchen to the point that I don’t feel as hidden away and the volunteers can take over with the baking and I can then have a more supervisory role – although I will still keep my hand in as I do love baking. 🙂

All the paperwork required by the environmental health has been prepared ready for everyone to start off on the right foot and keep on track. There is a lot of information to be completed on a daily basis which is going to take some time to get used to but everything will come with practice. As for the menu items I am hoping that the volunteers will find most of the products fairly straight forward to prepare and with the home baked products that the skills needed will come with time and lots and lots of practice.

There is an awful lot for the volunteers and staff to learn and it will take time, so the visitors which we have to the café must be understanding and patient, as I am sure they will, until we all find out feet as we all have different strengths and weaknesses which we have to make use of and develop further in order for the café to run effectively and efficiently.

Love-to-bake.uk is on the back burner until further notice as I am devoting all of my time to The Old School Café. There is so much to do there and I am loving every minute of it. I will continue with my blog and writing about what my plans are, both with my home baking and café baking, but the webshop is staying closed.

My plans for the week ahead are to work with the volunteers and teach some baking techniques to them in the café, practice some bakes for the café at home and at the end of the week I have a birthday cake to make for my daughter. Well that is me back to the planner to decide what has to be baked at the beginning of the week as there was not a lot left on Friday afternoon 🙂 If you can drop in for a visit please do as we would love to see you 🙂