‘Mama C’ cooks up a new career

A NEWTONGRANGE mum has quit her office job to open a cafe that will offer healthy food for young children.

Chantal Clark (33) left her office manager job at a design agency to follow her dream of running her own cafe and will open ‘Mama C’s’ on Station Road, Newtongrange in the new year.

Chantal, whose son Zack will turn two this week, said: “It’s going to be fresh home cooking and all in our kitchen, no ready meals. All grilled, healthy food. It’s for all ages but I’m really keen to cater for young kids.

“When we moved to Newtongrange in 2010 I realised there was nothing to do for young kids other than the mining museum.

“Sometimes I would be out with other mums and if you are caught on the hop it could be difficult to get good food for the kids.

“At Mama C’s I will have something healthy for them and it will be completely family-friendly.

“I want to keep it cosy, set it up like a house almost. I just want people to come in and feel relaxed, sit for a while and just eat.”

South African born Chantal will be offering some family favourites from her homeland: “I love cooking, my mum taught me how to cook at a very young age.

“I will be serving a bit of everything – curries right through to South African dishes.

“I do something called Milk Tart – a South African custard tart which seems to be quite popular at events I have done.

“I’m passionate about cooking, if I could be in my kitchen all day I would be, I love it. I’m completely following my dream.”

In tough economic times, Chantal admitted it has been difficult to start a business, adding that she and her husband have had to save up for a couple of years to buy the cafe – which Chantal will run herself, with her husband doing the accounts outside his full-time job.

Chantal explained the reason behind calling the cafe Mama C’s: “The name came from my Kiwi friend who called me Mama because I had dark hair and cooked a lot, so she said I should be an Italian Mama and the name stuck. And obviously the C is for Chantal.”

Chantal moved to the UK in 1996, and settled in Edinburgh ten years later when she visited the city and “fell in love with the place”.

The cafe is due to open in the new year and already has a Facebook page.