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Pursuing your dream

Cascara cafe

HGEM’s Sus flew the HGEM nest last month after she found her dreams of opening and running her own café, becoming a reality. We caught up with her to discuss her dream and how HGEM has put her in good stead for making Cascara - a vegan coffee and juice shop in central Bath - a success. 

How long have you wanted to open your own café?

For around 10 years! I spent a lot of time feeding site crew at festivals and working in kitchens in cafés – I’ve always loved preparing food that satisfies people.

How has working in the hospitality industry influenced your decision?

It’s given me a wealth of operational knowledge. I’ve learnt a lot about different types of operators and getting to spend a day working in a well-known quick service food chain really cemented my passion for food and providing nourishing meals for people. It’s also taught me a lot about current and past trends, and I felt now was as good a time as ever to give it a go.

Did you always know what type of café you wanted to open?

Not entirely, I just liked the idea of opening something where I could cook the foods I love and share it with people. I was a veggie for many years so knew it wouldn’t be meat focussed. Starting my blog www.roughmeasures.com gave me the creative outlet I craved. I have experimented with many ingredients and recipes (some good, some not so good!) and now follow a plant-based diet - I wanted my café to reflect that.

Has working at HGEM opened your eyes to what a guest experience should be?

I think the main thing for me is customer service. Provide positive, excellent, memorable service and you will go far. I often return to places solely based on the welcome I received from their staff. Asking someone if they’re having a good day can go a very long way, I will be aiming to instil that in my team going forward.

There are some misconceptions about working in the hospitality industry, it is often seen as a stop gap rather than a career. What do you say to these people?

I say they don’t know hospitality! I have many friends who really thrive working in the hospitality sector. They are gaining so much industry knowledge and love every day in their jobs. I don’t believe anyone should turn their nose up at any job. Do what makes you happy!

Any advice to people wanting to follow their dream?

Just do it.

Cascara opens next week on Friday 26th October at 8am

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