Having recently returned to my favourite spa town of Bath to find much changed, I was keen to find a decent juice bar on the Pulteney bridge side of town. So I was delighted when I came across Cascara, nestled in the central Upper Borough Walls, around the corner from The Guild and Central Library. This little gem is easy to miss, but not to be missed, whether you're looking for coffee, hot chocolate, gluten/dairy free treats or a yummy, healthy juice.
This colourful, cosy, independent hangout is right up my street; serving a selection of fruit and veg combinations with optional added super nutrients and a gorgeous array of gluten/dairy free bites, homemade by co-founder Ana. Anyone who believes gluten free doesn't taste as good, needs to try these!
Colombia-born and raised in Southern Spain, Ana has always been very creative and experimental with food. She taught herself to bake, loves to cater for special dietary needs and invents delicious new recipes every week. I recommend her mocha brownie and coconut and chocolate cake.
Co-founder Jay from Bath is the "coffee geek"/ connoisseur. I'm not a coffee drinker myself, but I've heard avid punters in the queue say it's the best in town. Jay obviously takes pride in his blends. Before opening Cascara, he was an experienced barista and competed in Latte Art competitions, coming second place (only to the competition host) in the South West & South Wales Independent Coffee Guide's latte art contest.
For me though, it has to be the raw, vegan hot chocolate every time. Cascara has a relaxed ambiance of Spanish music, and customers from all walks of life pop in. All kinds of meet ups happen there - I overheard someone having a Chinese lesson over coffee today.
And what I love the most of all about this place, is the 'meet-cute' that started it all.
Two years ago, Ana worked in a cigarette shop, and Jay in a café nearby. She would watch him pass by her shop window for months on his way to work each day, until one day she told to her employer, "I like this guy". That assertive boss marched straight over to the café and told him, "my worker likes you!" He said, "I like her too," but the coyness continued for a good while until Ana couldn't take it anymore and ran out of the shop after him one day, with a note that just read, 'Coffee sometime?' and her number. Sweet and simple.
The note that started it all! :)
Needless to say, it broke the ice, and a year into their relationship they decided to combine their skills and open their own place, Cascara back in November 2015. A match made in heaven!