Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

Take a piece of my heart: Couple's cake and coffee shop enjoys first birthday with Longford Park party

Take a piece of my heart: Couple's cake and coffee shop enjoys first birthday with Longford Park party

| By Kenny Lomas

A married couple are planning to toast their latest business venture's first birthday by celebrating with punters until sundown tomorrow.

Caffeine & Co in Longford Park, Stretford, is literally the labour of love for married couple Phil Howells, 47, from London, and Claire Howells, 41, from Cheshire.

After meeting in Manchester's iconic Hacienda nightclub in 1991, love blossomed and the pair tied the knot eight years later.

Then a little over two years ago they inadvertently ended up in business together after Phil, who had opened up his first cafe in Albert Square, realised he needed a helping hand.

"She was a always a very good baker so she made all kinds of stuff," Phil said.

"When I started the business, it just didn't come together. Claire stepped in to help and ended up just running the business.

"Claire was just coming back into full time work. She has daughter who is eleven, so she had been a full time mum.

"That was just over two years ago. I think she ended up having more of a job than she hoped!"

FROM THE HEART: Caffeine & Co serve a wide variety of coffee

With Phil's business know-how and Claire's exceptional baking skills, the business quickly became a roaring success.

They decided to expand, opening new cafe's in Spinningfields and Manchester Science Park in Hulme. Last year they opened their latest venture, in Longford Park.

It's an old adage in business that the first year is the toughest, but Phil says this hasn't been the case at all.

Their combination of the finest coffee and freshly bake delights set in against beautiful backdrop has proved a hit with punters.

BALLS: Claire's baking skills are a big reason for Caffeine & Co's success

Claire uses her skills to bake a variety of delights including sourdough and focaccia, cakes, biscuits, brioche and scones with home-made jam.

"It's been a very successful year for us, and the park is much more used than it was before we came. I can't understand why there aren't more park cafe's like us. I am actually a little surprised.

"The setting is absolutely beautiful, and you can have fresh coffee and homemade food. We're a very family friendly place as well, so children are more than welcome."

CELEBRATE! There will be food and drink galore at the party

For next weekend's celebrations, the couple have been granted an evening license, where they will throw on a BBQ and top things off with some home-made puddings.

Plenty of beer, wine, fizz and Pimms will be available from 4 until it gets dark, with music to help set the atmosphere.

The cafe will be open as normal, and a birthday menu will be posted later this week.

Phil added: "There's also going to be bike's for the children. We've hired a guy from Blackpool coming down with bikes for kids from 6 months to 8 years.

"It should be a fantastic day."

The party will go ahead at Longford Park on Saturday July 26, from 9.30am-17.00. For more information please visit here