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“Hi, I’m Amy, good to meet you!” said the smiley new Manager of Hobson’s café. Then she passed me a gorgeous chocolate brownie on a china plate. And I gorged. Oh yes, I gorged. No other word for it.

That was three years ago.

Amy’s certainly had an eclectic life so far; she’s been a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, plays the trombone, been wild swimming in Greece, been a school cook and run in Triathlons…giving every single finisher a slice of her homemade cake (worth running for).

Her very first attempt at baking was making tiny animals decorated with raisins from pastry offcuts, which her poor old dad had to pretend to enjoy. Fast forward a few years, her scones have become legendary and she’s invented a vegan chocolate cake, which delights her family every birthday.

I met Amy when she came to start, manage and cook at Hobson’s, the cafe in the buzzing hive of activity that is Hoole Community Centre. Amy certainly succeeded in her work. The Centre and its many users: painters, writers, calligraphers, linguists, baby massagers, singers, yoga groups etc. and of course the people of Hoole and beyond, fell for her cakes, breakfasts, casseroles and quiches. Volunteers were happy to offer their help in the café. Local businesses donated boxes of unsold food, which the imaginative Amy could always use creatively. Once, after Shrove Tuesday, two crates of spare lemons arrived and every single one was used in one of her concoctions.

Amy left Hobson’s earlier this summer, keen to start her new business (more to come on this). Fortunately, Hobson’s continues to delight its customers and the happy buzz goes on!

I ask Amy if she’s always liked cooking and baking, ‘Yes!’ is her emphatic reply. She describes watching her mum make huge dinners for her hungry family, which also included several lodgers. Her mum used inexpensive ingredients that were always delicious. This enticed Amy to learn more. She perched in the kitchen doing her homework, all the while imbibing the basics of cookery: the weighing out, the oven timings.

Aged 14, Amy became a vegetarian. Her folks declared that if she wanted special meals, she must make her own, so she did, and this was a time without Quorn or veggie ready-prepared meals. Everything had to be made from scratch. Of course, this learning curve, this chance for Amy to experiment, was a blessing in disguise. By the time she hit University Amy was a confident cook.

One of the first things she ever made was from Rose Elliott’s ‘The Bean Book’ – a Greek salad with haricot beans, tomato, garlic, and lemon with olive oil. Years on, it’s still a family favourite. Now her absolute favourite pud is ‘Chocolate Brownie Squidgy’ when it’s warm from the oven with thick vanilla ice cream.

Amy started her very new catering business after realising that at Hobson’s, she’d achieved all she’d set out to do. She wanted a new challenge; to take her homemade food to a wider group of people, spreading the word that delicious food can be good for you. And now she’s specialising in making food that’s light, bright and colourful. It’s real food, made with good quality ingredients and care.

Amy Edwards Catering accepts a variety of bookings: parties, celebrations, afternoon teas, dinner parties, lunches, children’s parties, and office dos. She says, ‘I love cooking big meals for big parties. And most of all I like to feed hungry people!’

So think about Amy if you or a friend would like some excellent catering – you really couldn’t choose a nicer lady who’s also a great cook and wonderful baker! You’ll certainly be delighted.

Prices start from £5pp for Buffets, £7pp for Afternoon Tea and £10pp for hot meals.

Website here. Telephone: 07747 113706