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Recipe for success

PUBLISHED: 05:28 15 December 2014

Elaine Riley at Mustard Café in Bridewell Alley. Photo: Bill Smith

Elaine Riley at Mustard Café in Bridewell Alley. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Mustard Café in Bridewell Alley. Photo: Bill SmithMustard Café in Bridewell Alley. Photo: Bill Smith

Opening the doors of Mustard on our first day. Such a wonderful feeling of pride and excitement!

Why did you choose to open Mustard Coffee Bar?

We had debated buying our own business for a while as I had become increasingly frustrated at working for people who believed that they knew how to run a business within the industry. We had looked at various sites and knew Mustard, and so jumped at the chance when it came on the market.

Where did you train?

My training was all done on the job. I began working in catering after I had my children, starting in a bakery and working my way through the ranks to become catering manager for Essex University’s Students’ Union.

What is your earliest food-related memory?

My grandmother was a Norwich girl, born and raised in Bull Close, and a great cook. I think my earliest memory would be her amazing Norfolk dumplings made with bacon and onion, which I have never been able to recreate.

What do you enjoy most about working the Mustard Coffee Bar?

Our customers, without a shadow of a doubt. We like people to think of Mustard as a “home from home” and have come to think of many of them as friends.

What would you say is special about your menu?

We make everything ourselves so can guarantee the freshness and quality. We change our specials weekly and use as much local produce as possible. And of course our scotch eggs and sausage rolls are legendary!

What is your favourite Norfolk ingredient?

We love using the wonderful goats’ cheese from Fielding Cottage.

Are there any foods you can’t stand?

Beetroot.

Have you had any cooking disasters?

We all make mistakes when baking, but as far as a disaster is concerned I think it would have to be the day an oven literally blew up - terrible at any time but on the launch day of a new restaurant ...

What would your last supper consist of?

It would be a simple meal of mushrooms on toast. Mushrooms are probably my favourite thing in the world.

Do you cook for friends and family too?

I love entertaining so cook at home as often as possible, as long as there’s a decent gin and tonic to hand!

Mustard Coffee Bar, 3 Bridewell Alley, Norwich, NR2 1AQ; 01603 630077; www.mustardcoffeebar.com

Opening hours:

Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 7.30am-5.30pm.Thursday, 7.30am-8.30pm. Sunday 10am-4pm.

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