Hercule cafe in Crookes has been serving its customers for almost 20 years, making it the longest-serving cafe in the area.
Cafe owner Steve Cross says in the 17 years he has run the business he has seen the street change, but he believes his business has stood the test of time by keeping a mainly traditional menu, with good customer service.
“It is a shame there are not as many shops as there used to be as it means that Crookes is no longer a shopping hub, but we pride ourselves on serving the local community well.
“We are lucky that we have a loyal customer base – people who come here once a week, or even once or twice a month,
“It’s really nice to see people on a regular basis because you get to know a bit about them.
“A lot of people come in and always have the same thing as well so you get to know their order and you can tell people appreciate it. Some people have been coming here for 10 years or so now.”
Steve, who was born in Sheffield, has worked in catering all over the country but found he could not keep away and now lives in Dronfield.
“I have worked in catering for 20 years and it’s taken me to lots of places, but this is the best place to work.
“You can have a chat with people here, they smile at you - it just has a nice feel.”
The cafe does have a very welcoming atmosphere. Classical, calming music soothes diners as they enjoy their food and drinks and Steve welcomes all customers with a friendly smile.
As I stand at the counter and chat to him, another customer strikes up a conversation with me as she pays. Around me, there is the hum of quiet chatter and laughter as friends catch up.
Another customer comes in and decides to treat herself to a slice of Steve’s homemade chocolate cake.
It is just one of the four cakes on offer – there’s also lemon drizzle, Victoria sponge and coffee and walnut cake.
Each of the cakes, which are £2.35 for a large slice, are made by Steve in his kitchen at home.
“On Tuesdays, I tend to bake all day at home. I make them according to demand.
“I tell people that they can let me know if they have a favourite recipe and I will try and make it if I can.”
Not content with just making cake, Steve also makes fresh bread on the premises every day. He also makes fruit scones and shortcakes.
It is clear that Steve’s many years of baking experience and customer care is a great recipe for success.
The cafe is open 8.30am until 5pm Monday to Saturday and 9.30am until 2.30pm on Sundays.
To read about more shops in Crookes pick up a copy of today’s Star.