City Tastes & Tipples: Care and hard work keeps it independent

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Making an independent cafe successful is a labour of love especially in the face of competition from more recognisable national chains.

Mocca Moocho on Cross Square overlooking Wakefield Cathedral prides itself on food cooked with care and staff who are friendly without being intrusive.

Mocca Moocho Coffee House owner Jamie Blackshaw and wife Margaret.

Mocca Moocho Coffee House owner Jamie Blackshaw and wife Margaret.

Husband and wife team James and Margaret Blackshaw have been in business in Wakefield for 25 years, starting with an ice cream and milkshake bar in The Ridings, and Colonel Mustard’s on Wood Street.

Margaret said: “We try to create a nice atmosphere. We’re friendly but not over-friendly.

“We’re not pretentious we just make sure we do all the basics to a high standard – good quality food and good quality coffee.

“We try to offer something for everyone.

“There’s a lot of competition but we work hard and we have to be resilient.”

The term “community hub” is batted around a lot these days but at Mocca Moocho the meaning is very clear.

An upstairs function room, which is free to hire for meetings, parties and gatherings, is full of board games and artwork made by staff and customers.

As well as knitting groups and society meetings, the cafe hosts an annual gathering for the Red Shed Poetry Society, attracting visitors from all around the country.

From the decor and laid back atmosphere to the food, Margaret and James are striving to make sure Mocca Moocho keeps its character and offers something you might not be able to find at bigger coffee chains.

Try: Cafe food made with pride from brownies, tiffin and Bakewell tarts, to paninis, toasties, salad, wraps, baked potatoes.

Treat yourself: It’s still summer and Mocca Moocho is licensed, so if you fancy a glass of wine sitting outside overlooking the cathedral at the end of a long week at work then this could be just the place.