Harrogate Advertiser Cafe of the Year 2018: Owners thank customers and staff as winner revealed

Owner of The Black Mulberry Alex Chaytor with staff members Donna Barnett, Olivia Plews, Dorothy Leamy and Paul Shelton (180326AM1).
Owner of The Black Mulberry Alex Chaytor with staff members Donna Barnett, Olivia Plews, Dorothy Leamy and Paul Shelton (180326AM1).

A Knaresborough cafe which opened in 2015 is celebrating winning the Harrogate Advertiser Cafe of the Year competition for the second year in a row.

The Black Mulberry, on the waterside, was voted the winner by readers, with Harrogate cafes Mrs Smith’s Cafe on Jenny Field Drive and Mama Doreen’s of Cold Bath Road coming in second and third place, respectively.

Phillipa Smith, owner of Mrs Smiths Cafe with staff members Lucy Hawkins, Teresa Bryan and Hajni Kovac (1803263AM1).

Phillipa Smith, owner of Mrs Smiths Cafe with staff members Lucy Hawkins, Teresa Bryan and Hajni Kovac (1803263AM1).

Owner of the Black Mulberry Alex Chaytor said: “To win it two years in a row is fantastic because the team work so hard and they are all so dedicated.”

Opened in June 2015, the cafe has become a key member of Knaresborough’s business community, and Alex had the following advice for anyone starting out in business: “It’s very hard work,” she said, “but if you get a good team around you it’s really really worth it.

“We enjoy what we do, we enjoy going to work. We enjoy seeing the customers.

“I would like to say thank you to all the customers who voted for us.

Jessica Wyatt of Mama Doreens (1803311AM1).

Jessica Wyatt of Mama Doreens (1803311AM1).

“It really means the world to us.”

Paying tribute to the support from the community of independent businesses across Knaresborough Alex said it has played no small part in the cafe winning again.

She added: “The really good thing about Knaresborough is there is a great support network of independent businesses.

“You get to know other businesses and we work with each other and it all helps.

“It has helped us to build a great team, which makes such a difference. To have people who know what they need to do and that you can work with all year around I think was key to us winning.”

Phillipa Smith, owner of second-placed Mrs Smith’s Cafe, said: “We are thrilled to be runners up in the Cafe of the Year competition and are so grateful to our customers for voting for us.

"It’s the perfect end to our first year in business.

“We are different to other cafes with a big focus on families. As a mum of two I wanted to fill the gap in the Harrogate market for somewhere that mums and little ones would be properly welcomed and provided for.

“We have a toy area and great kids facilities but we look after the adults too with fresh, locally sourced homemade food and cakes and great quality coffee.

“It’s lovely to know our customers love what we do enough to vote for us, it’s put big smiles on our faces for year two.”

Phillipa continued: “We are fiercely passionate about quality local products and supporting other independents in the area.”

Jessica Wyatt of Mama Doreen’s said: “Back in 2010, we baked a batch of cupcakes - but little did we know that it would lead to creating thousands of cakes for people all over the world, baking for celebrities and even the odd TV appearance!

“We’ve come a long way since then, but our values remain the same – to create the tastiest cakes and afternoon teas using the very best ingredients.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has visited our Cold Bath Road Emporium, left us a review on TripAdvisor or voted for us in these special awards – your support really does mean the world to our family business.

“The themed afternoon teas we lovingly created for Halloween and Christmas last year proved to be so popular that we’re currently working on a programme of exciting events for 2018.”