Popular local café business Homemade has found the sweet spot for its new cake-making base at The Forest Recreation Ground.
Homemade already runs a café at The Forest Pavilion, which is popular among locals and park visitors alike – and now Homemade is moving all of its operations to the beautiful Forest Lodge building on the park near Mansfield Road.
The current Homemade Café in the renovated Cricket Pavilion building at the heart of the park has been thriving since it opened. It has been a firm favourite for the past five years, well used by the community and regular park visitors such as Parkrun, who visit every Saturday after their 5km run.
Now the company is upping sticks from its base on Pelham Street, and moving to the vacant Lodge. This means that the company’s cakes, catering, cakes to order and wholesale cakes will be made from this site.
From today (22 August) they will be completely based at the park and along with the production side of the business, Homemade will also be opening a coffee kiosk in the Lodge. Commuters will be able to pop by between 8am and 10.30am each morning to get themselves a morning coffee and delicious baked breakfast goods.
The thousands of visitors to Goose Fair (Wednesday 3 – Sunday 7 October) are also in for a sweet treat and will be able to sample the delights of the kiosk, as they open day and night for Europe’s largest travelling fair.
Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Localities, Cllr Dave Trimble, said: “Homemade Café is a great local success story who make the most delicious cakes, so we are really pleased to be able to work with them and make the Forest Recreation Ground their home. We know that Homemade is really popular in the park and now they will be able to offer a great new service to commuters, as well as bringing the Lodge back to life and back into use.”
Jasmin Barlow-Wilkinson of Homemade said: “After the sale of the Pelham St café at the beginning of the year, we are very excited to be making the move from the city centre up the hill to the Forest Recreation Ground, which is now where we call home. We are looking forward to being able to expand our cake operation and to welcome lots of new customers.
“Opening the coffee kiosk and working in the beautiful lodge, is a real treat. This historic building has always been a favourite Nottingham landmark of mine, never did I think I would end up baking in it. We look forward to creating special treats for large events on site like Goose Fair and to bring this building back to life and accessible to the public.”
The first phase of Forest Recreation restoration was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund (£5.2million) and began in 2013. A key feature of the £5.2m restoration project, was the refurbishment of the pavilion. Nottinghamshire Police also gained access to the building so they could conduct high visibility patrols to ensure the park is a safe and secure space.
The Grade II listed Forest Lodge was also restored and refurbished as part of the improvements. Built by local architect Henry Moses Wood in ‘Greek Revival Style’ in 1857, it has been used as a police station and possibly a jail, as well as a mess area for grounds staff, before falling into disrepair.
The funding also enabled the park’s historic entrances and some of the railings to be re-instated along with improvements to the park’s paths, lighting, play facilities, sports pitches, planted areas and visitor information.