A popular Bradford coffee and dessert cafe is celebrating after tasting success in the Asian Voice Charity Awards.
Rakkaposhi on Ebenezer Street reopened its doors on Thursday 8th June following repairs for roof damage shortly after hearing that it had been shortlisted in the start-up of the year category.
The cafe was set up as a social enterprise 18-months ago and donates all its profits to Bradford-based QED Foundation, a national charity that aims to create a peaceful and harmonious society by tackling poverty and inequality.
“We were over the moon to hear that our efforts had been recognised,” says Nazia Ali, the brains behind the venture.
“But when we announced closure for repairs soon afterwards, we were bombarded by disappointed messages from our regular customers. We are delighted that we have been able to open again so quickly.
“We have taken the opportunity to introduce new products to our range and are looking forward to meeting new faces and welcoming our long-standing customers back.'
Rakkaposhi, which is named after a peak in the Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan, has built up a devoted following among customers who appreciate its home-made cookie dough, thick shakes, Liege waffles and Fujis.
Just across the A6181 from the Broadway shopping centre, it also serves premium coffee, indulgent puddings and cakes, ice cream, sundaes and smoothies.
During the month of Ramadan Rakkaposhi is open from 8pm to 1am but after 27th June it will be serving sweet treats, house coffees and hand-picked tea blends from 3pm -11pm Sunday to Thursday and 3pm – 1am on Friday and Saturday.
Ayaz and Faraz Saddiq and Kameran Khan have developed a new app which is the “Rolls Royce” of takeaway and restaurant delivery service
With new sophisticated phone apps and online food ordering options for the customer seemingly endless and convenient, for takeaway and restaurant owners it’s imperative that they deliver their customer’s food on time.
But things don’t always go to plan. One of the biggest headaches in the food delivery service industry is ensuring there are enough drivers on the ready to meet customer’s expectations.
Now a trio of innovative Asian businessmen from Leeds, have teamed up to provide the perfect solution that takeaway and restaurant owners may face when their delivery driver can’t make it in for their shift.
Brother Ayaz and Faraz Saddiq and friend Kameran Khan recognised the niche in the market and have developed the perfect solution, which is sure to be a win-win for takeaway owner, customer and delivery driver.
Ayaz Saddiq, who’s worked in the food industry for a number of years, experienced this first hand when he took on evening jobs as a takeaway delivery driver.
“I witnessed the stress takeaway owners were enduring if their delivery driver let them down and struggled to source a driver at very short notice,” explains Ayaz.
“I realised this was quite a big issue for takeaway and restaurant owners and was discussing it extensively with my brother Faraz.
“I’ve also heard experiences of hard-working delivery drivers who would be called into work on their days off but did not receive the appreciation for their hard work.”
Ayaz and Faraz decided they could offer a food delivery service agency and so went door-to-door promoting their services. Very soon they couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of “last-minute” delivery requests.
Whilst discussing the scenario with their close friend Kameran, the team have developed a delivery-driver booking app ‘DriverStop’, which is set to revolutionise the way eateries manage their deliveries.
DriverStop is a new app that brings together takeaway/restaurant owners and delivery drivers at a very short notice.
A takeaway owner can submit their driver request through the app for the number of hours work required, a message is sent to all the pre-registered drivers and the first to accept will get the job.
“The idea is simple but it’s a service that is long over due,” says Kameran.
“This app is set to revolutionise the fast food delivery industry.
‘We’ve had the likes of JustEat and HungryHouse bring orders to takeaways at the touch of a button, but what was lacking is the ability to get those orders to the customers in good time.”
There is more to DriverStop says Faraz: “Delivery drivers are the backbone of the takeaway industry.
“They work tirelessly to bring us our food fresh and tasty, yet their hard work has gone unnoticed far too long, the DriverStop gives flexibility to delivery drivers so they can work when they want and achieve a good work-life balance.
“The app has been received really well by takeaway and restaurant owners, they all love the idea and see it as a life-saver.”
As well as paying great rates according to the driver’s delivery experience, it offers advice on customer service, best routes for optimum delivery times and tips on ensuring customer confidence.
Classic British dishes with cultural twists in an ever-changing menu
Cafe Patisserie on Bakerend Road is a charming little eatery where diners can sit by an open fire whilst enjoying the finest delicacies in BD3.
Started up seven years ago by Sajid Ilyas -who wanted a place where he could eat the same high-standard of curries that his mum made at home – the establishment has become one of the best places to eat in Bradford.
Although curries do feature on the menu, Cafe Patisserie offers a whole lot more for the discerning diner.
Sajid said: “Whenever I’ve gone out, I noticed menus are often restricted to vegetarian and fish. I noticed there was a gap in the market for English, traditional food.”
A hot favourite is the traditional English breakfast, with eggs yolks so yellow they literally bring the sunshine inside.
“We also do paninis, sandwiches, quiche... they’re all homemade. In the evening we do steaks; ribeye and sirloin. Sometimes we’ll even cook venison - meats that are difficult to get hold of when halal.
“Everything’s cooked up fresh in-house. We do traditional pies and a huge range of cakes and desserts.”
Their menu is varied and everything looks delicious. It’s hard to pick what to try out.
In the end, the Asian Express team opted for watercress and lettuce soup followed by the Romana Chicken with spicy Lyonnais potatoes, salad and roasted vegetables - finished with a creamy garlic Romana sauce that was simply to die for.
Rounding off the meal was a portion of gorgeous French toast, covered in lashings of chocolate sauce and sprinkled with colourful marshmallows. It was comfort food at its best.
Thanks to the Grade II listed surroundings, a roaring fire and the added cosy aesthetics of bookshelf wallpaper, we experienced a moment of magical dining.
“We change our menu two to three times a year,” Sajid added. “Truth be known, it’s more of a reflection of where we’ve travelled that year. We’ve got a lot of Middle Eastern food going on at the minute – like lamb tagine.
“Cafe Patisserie tries to keep the menu focused on traditional English but at least a third of it is ever-changing and adds a twist to the proceedings.
“This year we focused on Oriental dishes like noodles and stirfrys.
“This place used to be a pub. It was closed for a number of years. When we came here we gutted it and renovated it all. It now looks modern and funky.
“Opening this place was the best thing we have ever done,” Sajid smiled. It is no doubt that the residents of Bradford and beyond would agree.
Neil Egan says his business in Hull is suffering from a loss in trade due to building works
While most people are looking forward to Hull taking the crown of UK City of Culture in 2017, a grumbling café owner says the £25m makeover of the city is costing his business £800 a week.
The Trinity Square work is being carried out by contractor Eurovia on behalf of Hull City Council. Paving stones are being replaced with Yorkstone and granite setts.
Neil Egan has seen his venue, Simples Café, overshadowed by machinery as the space is given a facelift in preparation for celebrations. He says his business may struggle to last until then.
The business owner says he is now unable to seat many customers outside and passersby can no longer easily walk in off the street.
Neil said: “The nearest passing trade can get is 30m away. From that distance, they can’t see if we’re open or not. We weren’t expecting or prepared for this kind of drop in trade.
“All people keep saying to me is, ‘It will be great when it’s finished’. I’m sure it will be, but we’ve got to somehow manage to still be trading by that point.”
Neil, who is a former construction worker, said he understood the disruption work could cause.
However, he said he was told in meetings before the project started that it would be done in phases rather than all at once.
Before building began, Simples had 20 outdoor seats as well as 12 indoors. The loss of almost two-thirds of that total space is having a serious impact, he said.
He is now struggling to meet the costs of running the premises, which is leased from the council.
Neil said: “I understand this is the most cost-effective way of doing things, but it’s not the procedure they said they’d take.
“They’re saving money but it’s costing us a fortune.
“The council has changed the programme, which is making it impossible for me to pay the rent on my council-owned property.”
Neil and business partner Paul Hunt opened Simples in August, with the aim of helping to revitalise the square.
He said: “We weren’t making any profit anyway. Now we’re not making enough to pay the bills.
“We’ve been building up a regular customer base, with people really enjoying it. Now that’s gone, and they can’t get to us.”
The work is not due to be finished until November next year.
A Spokesman for Hull City Council said: “Hull is embarking on its biggest transformation for many years and, with tight timescales to adhere to, some disruption is to be expected.
“We are working hard to support businesses through these periods, with Hull Business Improvement District and with dedicated public liaison officers employed by Eurovia, acting as a point of contact for all retailers and businesses affected by the work.
“We are also installing additional signage in areas to signal that ‘businesses are open as usual’.
“While advance notice of works starting was provided, unfortunately, on this occasion, there was a breakdown in communication, which led to insufficient notice of the intention to work directly outside of the property at the same time as works removing a significant portion of Trinity Square.
“Eurovia has assured the council they have now put processes in place to ensure they will maintain regular contact and dialogue with the local shop owners and businesses, making them aware of any changes to the programme of works, as soon as possible.
“We have worked with Simples Café to create an outdoor seating area that can still be used.
“Works to provide a larger outdoor seating area are now being prioritised.
“The council is determined to create a thriving city centre residents and businesses can be proud of and we appreciate the patience of everyone throughout this time.”
For over 50 years, Uncle Akbar Moghul has been serving up his range of authentic Asian breakfasts to Bradford’s morning risers.
His Classic Channa Puree and Halwa Puree dishes have been tasted by generations of families, transporting diners from West Yorkshire to the kitchens of Pakistan with one simple fork full of food.
Today, these tastes are only available at Leeds Road’s Cafe Zoya, which continues to turn up the flavour for the most important meal of the day.
Wholesome parantha omelettes, lamb nihari and payay are all also available, with each dish offering a different delectable taste to delight diners.
Alternatively, for those wanting a more ‘Western’ wake up meal, traditional English breakfasts are also now served up at Cafe Zoya. Toast, hash browns, scrambled eggs, beans, halal sausages and more is all squeezed onto your plate for a wholesome meal to remember.
Cafe Zoya director, Mr Lukman, known as ‘Lucky’ to all, is a ‘self-confessed’ breakfast lover and always strives to provide the perfect plate for every visitor.
“All our breakfast dishes are guaranteed to delight our diners, with sumptuous offerings spread across our menu,” he said.
“People from all over the world have tasted Uncle Akbar Moghul’s dishes, with visitors to the city always heading to Cafe Zoya to taste the renowned dishes for themselves.
“Since launching our breakfast menu, the popularity has only continued to grow and we now see new and old faces coming through our doors every day.”
Providing the perfect start to your day, Zoya breakfasts are served up seven days a week, 365 days a year, between 8am and noon.
Head down soon to start your day in the most delicious way possible.
SECRET SUGAR: Coffee shops are pumping huge amounts of sugar into their drinks, a campaign group has revealed
Coffee shop sugar shock!
One third of hot drinks served in high-street chains contain staggering levels of sugar, the same amount - or even more - than Coca-Cola, according to campaign group Action on Sugar.
The group analysed 131 hot flavoured drinks, including hot chocolates, coffees, mochas, hot fruit drinks and lattes among other drinks that are purchased from some of the UK’s best-known coffee shops and fast-food chains.
If the coffee shops were forced to label their products, 98 per cent of the 131 hot flavoured drinks found in the big high street chains would carry a ‘red’ warning for excessive levels of sugar.
Action on Sugar revealed that Starbucks’s Hot Mulled Fruit (grape with chai, orange and cinnamon venti) was the sugariest drink.
At 25 teaspoons of sugar it contains more than three times the recommended maximum adult daily intake.
Costa’s largest chai latte was found to contain 20 teaspoons of sugar, while an extra large signature hot chocolate from Starbucks contained 15 teaspoons, double the daily adult maximum.
Approximately 20 per cent of the population visit a coffee shop on a daily basis, but most people will be unaware how much hidden sugar they are consuming in their flavoured drinks.
Starbucks told the Guardian it was committed to reducing added sugar in its drinks by 25 per cent by the end of 2020, and that ‘all nutritional information is available in-store and online’.
Costa said in April it would be setting salt and sugar reduction targets for 2020 and that it had already taken significant steps to reduce the sugar content of its ranges.
Professor Graham MacGregor, chair of Action on Sugar, said: “This is yet again another example of scandalous amount of sugar added to our food and drink. No wonder we have the highest rates of obesity in Europe.”
Action on Sugar researcher Kawther Hashem said coffee-shop chains should ‘immediately reduce the amount of sugar in these hot drinks, improve their labelling and stop selling the extra-large serving sizes’.
She added: “These drinks should be an occasional treat, not an ‘everyday’ drink. They are laden with an unbelievable amount of sugar and calories and are often accompanied by a high sugar and fat snack.”
The research comes ahead of the Government’s childhood obesity strategy, which is due to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
The Government think that junk-food adverts should be banned from being screened around ‘family programmes’ like ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.
A sugar tax has been proposed of up to 20 per cent and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has championed the move for companies to reformulate their products so that less sugar is used.
A woman has been forced to pay-out almost £1,000 after being found guilty of a racist outburst at a café owner in Ossett.
Last year, Martha Kolleh-McBurrough made national headlines after posting a sign outside her Yeanon café in the town warning people to ‘beware she is ‘black’.
Three months later and the small business owner was the victim of such verbal abuse by a woman who claimed she had seen the mother-of-two bump her car in the car park.
Care worker, Laura Mitchell, 25, stormed inside the café to confront Ms Kolleh-McBurrough about the action, and whilst holding her three-year-old daughter, called her a host of names including ‘black b***h’.
Mitchell is also alleged to have threatened to slap the victim, magistrates in Wakefield were told.
Ms Kolleh-McBurrough said: “She was calling me all the names in the book. She was really, really angry.”
Mitchell, a mother-of-two also from Ossett who was seven months pregnant at the time, denied the claims Ms Kolleh-McBurrough told her ‘you’re accusing me because of the colour of my skin’.
She said she had only gone into the cafe to exchange insurance details with Ms Kolleh-McBurrough who then proceeded to stand ‘right in my face, yelling and waving a spatula about in a threatening manner. She seemed very irate’.
VICTIM: Martha Kolleh-McBurrough put up a controversial sign in her café window last year warning customers she was black and was the victim of racism just three months later
Witness, Andrew Morris, contradicted Mitchell’s statement and said he told her directly that ‘there’s no need for racism’.
Prosecuting, Martin Sleight said: “The complainant came across as an honest and truthful witness who hadn’t come to court to make a malicious allegation against the defendant.”
Adding in reference to the cafe owner’s sign, he said: “She felt that people were racist towards her. I do not believe that people of Ossett are generally racist.”
Ben Tighe, for Mitchell, said she was of previous good character but added: “Racism cannot and must not be tolerated in our society.”
Mitchell was fined £485 and ordered to pay a £300 victim surcharge.