Hampsthwaite cafe a ‘hidden gem’ for walkers and cyclists


Last updated Oct 12, 2021
Sophie Jacob is the determined baker and cook behind the coffee shop.

A Hampsthwaite cafe set on the edge of Nidderdale, where the owner takes pride in making all of the food from scratch, is a hidden gem for walkers and cyclists.

Ten years ago this week Sophie Jacob, flanked by her husband Steve and three teenagers took on a derilict building in the picturesque village with a lot of ambition.

Alot has changed since then. On a sunny weekend like this, in normal times, Sophie’s Coffee Shop is buzzing with lots of people passing through the village.

Sophie had only ever cooked and baked for friends and family before the cafe started. While it may take a lot of time in the day, she was determined to make all the food fresh.

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She has so much pride in her food that she once dreamed of earning a Michelin Star. It may not be something Sophie is still chasing but she is still open to the possibility.

Over the years Sophie has expanded the menu, released a cook book, built a pizza oven in the back garden, taken on the village shop and a holiday cottage.

Sophie, on the cafe’s ten year anniversary, told the Stray Ferret:

“We always bake a lot in the morning. Sometimes we get so busy that we start to run out but I can always make some more.

“There is nothing more rewarding than baking. It may not always go to plan but when it’s fresh from the oven, they love it and that’s just fab. That keeps me going.

“I have always liked baking, I feel lucky to have found it. My mum always used to tell me that I should be doing something with it, she inspired me.

“When we first opened she used to come here to work every morning. She would go home absolutely shattered but she loved it. I love it too.”

Sophie’s Coffee Shop is currently serving takeaway drinks, cakes and pizza on the weekends but she is looking forward to the day when she can reopen fully, hopefully in May.

This is part of the Stray Ferret’s ‘hidden gem’ series. We are trying to highlight small independent businesses. They need to be tucked away but growing in popularity with an eye-catching and unique product or approach. Send us an email with your nominations.

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