Every morning at 4am, Karen Carr wakes up, goes down to her kitchen and begins baking home-made pies, ready for sale in her cafe later that day.
The proud business owner and trained chef runs Karen’s Cafe in the Moor Market.
The pies - which she calls her babies - are just some of the home-made treats on offer each day.
Karen said: “I make pies every day, usually five different types, but at least four.
“The pies are my babies and I would say they are my best seller. People come to the Moor Market from Chesterfield and Barnsley to have one of my pies. They say they are the best they’ve ever had. It’s a huge compliment.”
Mother-of-two Karen has always had a passion for cooking and baking. From the age of 18 she dreamed of opening her own cafe.
She said: “I always knew that I would do it. I thought that I would do it sooner, but it’s better late than never.”
She added that she still gets a buzz from seeing her name above the cafe each morning, almost four years after it opened.
Prior to running the cafe, Karen worked as a head chef but hung up her apron for a brief period 30 years ago to focus on being a mum.
As her children grew, so did Karen’s passion for cooking, and seven years ago a chance opportunity saw her take over Debs Riviera in the old Castle Market. When the Moor Market opened its doors Karen decided to name her cafe after herself.
“I was proud to run it so I decided it was time for the change,” she said.
“I taught my team to cook and bake and now we make everything fresh every day.
“When I’m away, I know I can trust my team to make the pies and people tell me they are just as good - it’s nice to feel like I’ve taught them well.”
Karen, who lives in Shiregreen, prides herself on offering good quality, home-cooked food - all served with a smile.
Alongside the pies, customers can also treat themselves to breakfasts, burgers and sandwiches.
Karen added: “What’s really lovely is that we do get a lot of repeat customers. Some people come every day, some people come two or three times a week - it’s always nice to see the familiar faces.
“With some of our customers, we know what day and time they are coming and we get their order ready for them - they don’t even have to ask for it. You can’t help but smile when you see them waiting in the queue.”
When the cafe closes at 4.30pm kind-hearted Karen goes home and cooks for her family - not that she minds.
She added: “I’ve always loved cooking. It was always a dream of mine to cook so I’m happy to do lots of it.”
Karen’s Cafe is in the middle of the food court in the Moor Market, Sheffield city centre.
It is open 8am until 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday.
Visit Karen and her friendly team to try a pie or some of their home-cooked meals, made with locally-sourced, top-quality ingredients with love.
Pick up a copy of today’s Star to read about some of the other tasty food on offer at the Moor Market.