Title: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe
Author: Jenny Colgan
Genre: Fiction/ Romance
Source: Charity Shop
My favourite quote; ‘Once you were inside the court, the noise from the traffic seemed to fade away; it was as if you were stepping back to a quieter, gentler time. The little row of shops was higgledy-piggledy and jammed together and looked a little like something out of Hogwarts, and number 4, with its low wooden doorway, odd angles and ancient fireplace, was the sweetest of them all.’
Once I finished ‘The Little Shop of Happy Ever After’ by Jenny Colgan, I thought it was such a lovely story that I wanted to see what else she had done. Turns out, she has written alot! Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe was the next one on my list that I was able to pick up on my lunchbreak.
The story throws you into the life of Issy Randall, a woman who works at an estate agency with a passion for making cupcakes for her colleagues and acquaintances at the bus stop. Issy is happy living the quiet life with her steady income, visiting her Grampa Joe who inspires her to bake and a glass of wine in the evening with her best friend/ roommate Helena. The only exciting part of her life is her secret office affair with her boss Graeme which she keeps to herself to avoid any complications in the workplace. Little does she suspect, everyone already knows.
When the firm she works for suddenly announces that they have to cut down on their spending and will have to make some members of staff redundant, Issy is devastated to find that she is on the list and that her boyfriend knew but didn’t tell her.
With no job and no relationship, Issy realises she will only be remembered in the company as the woman who makes delicious cakes. Her cakes are the only pride left in her life besides her lovely pink kitchen in her flat, she uses this inspiration to spontaneously put an offer on the empty corner shop in the square.
A visit to the bank introduces us to the dashingly smart Austin with his messy hair and warm expressions, not what she expected from a man in his situation. Austin sees something in Issy that pushes him to help her get her shop and provides her with additional advice to help her get started. With the help of Austin, Helena and her new employee Pearl, Issy soon finds herself with the key to start her new life as a business owner for her very own cake shop.
It’s exciting, it’s complicated and it comes with a lot of responsibilities, with this new experience, she finally discovers a career she loves, so when her ex-boyfriend tries to convince her landlord to sell the shop so they can build new apartments, it takes the help of everyone to ensure that they protect their little square.
I loved Issy and her good-natured personality, it takes a good push to get her on her feet in the right direction, but she overcomes all obstacles and stands firmly on what she wants. She gets upset at times, as we all would, but it’s lovely to read about her kind approach to everyone from others perspectives. Graeme was a huge mistake, but I think we can all relate to this one on some level so it’s easy to forgive her for her weakness of him.
Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that – Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. So when she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment and open up her own cafe.