Cake and community: An interview with Lydia Coyle

Published: Monday 9th January 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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The little purple and yellow place nestled next to the bridge on Newland Avenue is Lydia’s, a cake shop where customers can buy a sweet treat and relax. It’s also a hive for meeting likeminded people at various groups and events, which are held there regularly.

We popped in for a chat with the owner, Lydia Coyle, to discuss all things sweet and chocolatey.

Can you tell us a little bit about Lydia’s and what you do?

We’re mainly a cake shop. Customers can come in and grab a slice and a cuppa with friends or on their own.

We also put on special events and host regular groups, such as Baby and Me, Knitting Club, craft evenings, quiz nights and the fortnightly Hull Language Cafe.

Customers have the chance to hire out the space for their own private events too. It could be anything from a girls’ night in to a birthday party, baby shower, or a film night using our projector.

What sort of delicious treats can people expect from Lydia’s?

It changes quite often and it depends on what I want to bake. I personally make the cakes fresh each morning, so there’s always something new to try.

I have a few favourites at the moment that my customers love. Some of my cake combinations include ginger, toffee and lime, chocolate and Guinness, and white chocolate and orange. Another popular choice is our cappuccino cake.

Customers can also choose from a range of speciality drinks, including elderberry peach tea, caramite hot chocolate and parsnapple (parsnip and pineapple) smoothies.

We also pride ourselves on selling vegan and gluten-free treats. The more people that can eat cake, the better!

Most definitely! So you’re quite inventive with your flavours then?

Yes, I try to be as diverse as possible. We want to have a wide range of flavours so that everyone can enjoy a treat. Plus it’s nice to have a different twist on certain recipes, so what we sell is not exactly the same as everywhere else.

I’m always looking for new ideas and trying different combinations. I love seeing what works and what doesn’t.

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It sounds like you love baking. How long have you been doing it?

I’ve been baking since I was about four years old. I think it all started because of my love of sweet food. I used to bake with my parents and grandparents when I was really young.

When I got a bit older I would see a new recipe on the TV and rush to try it out. I would think, “That looks delicious, I’ll just go and make it for myself,” and it escalated from there.

We’ve had premises on Newland Avenue for about two years now, but I’ve been baking pretty much all my life.

What made you pick Newland as your base?

I’ve always lived down Newland Avenue and I just love the community. It’s a great area, really friendly, and you meet so many different people.

I love how many small businesses there are around here too. It’s a good place to start if you’re an independent shop or cafe.

Lydia’s is definitely part of the Newland Avenue community, hosting a variety of events and clubs. Why is this so important to you?

Our events are a way to involve everyone and bring the community together. Our Baby and Me groups are amazing because you get to meet so many other parents, who share advice and support.

We also have a little toy box for the kids to use. Mums and dads don’t have to worry if the kids are screaming and having a good time – we welcome that!

The Language Cafe is great for people looking to learn a new dialect, or those who want to meet others who speak their own language. We have a lot of students who come along; it’s one of our most popular events.

Lydia’s is located at 45 Newland Avenue, Hull. For more information, please visit www.lydiashull.co.uk

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Published: Monday 9th January 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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