A dad has finally achieved his dream of opening his own coffee house after a cancer diagnosis put a stop to his plans.
Ian Maguire has opened Elle’s Coffee House, on The Strand, Longton, after finishing his treatment for bladder cancer.
The 59-year-old had planned to open a café two years ago, but was unable to after falling ill with the disease in May 2018.
But that made him even more determined to open the business for his daughter Elle’s future – who the coffee house is named after.
And Elle’s Coffee House is now up and running serving fresh barista coffee alongside paninis and cakes.
Ian, who was previously a stay-at-home dad to 13-year-old Elle, said: “I was a househusband before this and I’ve raised my daughter for the last 13 years.
“I originally planned to open the coffee house two years ago, but I fell ill with bladder cancer in May 2018 and was unable to do so. It made me even more determined to have something to leave for my daughter.
“After finishing treatment I have put all my work into this over the last three months. A coffee house is a little bit more niche and we specialise in barista coffee and there’s nothing else like this in Longton. The coffee is fresh and the business is family run.
“I’ve made sure to source our food locally and our meat has come from the butchers inside Longton Market. I want to keep money in the area and I think it’s important to support other businesses.
“We opened a few weeks ago and the positive feedback has been fantastic. It’s very exciting. If someone wants a really nice cup of coffee this is the place to come.
“I hope the people of Longton enjoy it.”
The venue, which was previously home to Penny Coffee House before it closed in December 2019, has undergone an £18,000 makeover and been filled with Mod memoribillia.
It has created two full-time jobs and one part-time – with Elle helping out at weekends.
The dad-of-two added: “We’ve done a complete refurbishment which took seven weeks to complete at a cost of £18,000.
“Part of the coffee house is dedicated to Mod memorabilia as I grew up listening to that music through my teenage years. We’ve got records on the wall from The Who along with scooters, guitars and a saxophone. I wanted it to look different.
“We employ three staff members and my daughter Elle also works in here at the weekend. I thought it was appropriate to name it after Elle as I wanted to do this for her future and she was really excited and happy that she was involved.
“It makes me smile to think Elle would take over one day as that was the purpose of everything.”
Ian’s daughter Elle says she was surprised when her dad told her the coffee house would be named after her.
The 13-year-old said: “I was surprised when my dad told me, it’s cool having my name above the door.
“I’ve been helping out on Saturdays and it’s been really fun. We’ve had a lot of customers come in who have been impressed and we’ve had really good reviews.
“I hope it’s successful as I really want to take over when I’m older.”
Coffee prices range from £1.65 for a regular espresso to £2.90 for a large Mocha.
Customers say the coffee house is a ‘breath of fresh air’ for Longton.
Kaz Cook, aged 58, from Sanford Hill, said: “We have already visited the coffee house three times.
“We come for the scones and the tea is really nice and it’s great service. I also love the Mod memorabilia and the prices are very good too.
“It’s different than just your normal café, it’s a bit more upper class.”
And Rob Brown, aged 53, from Lightwood, said: “I bring my granddaughter here and it’s a breath of fresh air to Longton, it has a nice atmosphere and feels relaxed. It’s what we need around here.
“It’s the only coffee house in Longton, businesses are struggling here and hopefully this well help draw people in.”
Elle’s Coffee House is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.
– Ian is offering a 20 per cent discount to anyone who produces a voucher at the coffee house over the next week. Look out for the voucher in today’s edition of The Sentinel (Monday March 16).