Lighthaus Cafe is an incredible place. An unassuming gem that sits in the middle of an industrial unit, bordering Walthamstow and Leyton. On the inside, It’s the kind of cafe you dream of running. The sort that everybody who has ever wanted to open a cafe pictured in their mind. Thoughtful and elegant, with custom made furniture and a shining White Eagle sitting on the counter top. It's warm, welcoming and busy, especially considering they've only been open a couple of weeks. The worktops tops, chairs, tables and benches have all been designed and made by the talented Alex White, who happens to be the other half of Lighthaus Cafe's proud owner, Jen Weiss. Then there is the light. There are beautifully bespoke fittings and naked bulbs all around, but it's the natural light that creates the atmosphere and tranquility that sets this place apart. It's magic.
For us, it's a proud moment to see such a close friend realise their dreams. Jen has been a huge part in Yallah and was even living here on the farm while we were building the roastery. She's dreamt of running a cafe for as long as she can remember but it's been a long old road to get to where she is now. After what felt like endless days running her converted caravan at blown out markets, summer festivals and pop ups feasts, we caught up with her to find out if it was all worth it, and why it's taken her so long!
Tell us more about your wonderful cafe. When did you open and how's it going?
I opened on April 3rd. It's been good.... really good. There are lots of workers from the industrial estate, creatives that are all running their own businesses or similar. There are lots of mums too, which I think is probably partly due to me running my caravan and getting to know them there. There's definitely a young family movement in the borough.
What's your aim for the cafe?
We'll be open 7 days a week but I'm really excited to do more evenings and events here, as it's such a beautiful space. I'd like to offer the space to other people to come in and do events too.... people with good ideas for the community, whether that's cooking or social or whatever.
The bespoke finiture was made by Alex White, who happens to be your boyfriend. Are you proud of what he's made?
Ooooooooo I'm very very proud yes. I'm very lucky. Most of it is entirely his creations, with a very very small imput from me. I always wanted a big table that was a centre piece, I suggested the marble and the bench along the window but it really really was mainly all him, with a nod here and there from me. He's very talented.
Who's in the kitchen and what have you been cooking?
Mitch in the Kitch. Kitch Mitch. He's the best. He's been coming up with such amazing ideas, He's made what I've been told is the best soup in the world. We've been testing different menus and seeing what works and what doesn't work at the minute. It's all part of the plan to nail down an exciting summer menu. Because theres is a big crowd of people who are coming for lunch from work, so we don't want to outprice them but obviously, we still want to attract people that are walking here for a proper bit of food.
What's your favourite thing about Lighthaus, doesn't need to be one thing?
The coffee. hahaha.
Oh golly that's a hard one. Mainly the fact we've created it ourselves, and it has involved so many of my friends and family to do it. I'm proud of that.
When's the next event?
We're planning to launch our brunch menu soon. It'll be the first time we've opened on Saturday / Sunday so there will be live music, cocktails and of course plenty of delicious food. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media as we experiment with the menu, we'll be posting some photos once we've finalised what we're serving. Keep your eyes on our social media for when we announce the dates.
Check out @lighthauscafe on all the regular social offerings. You'd be crazy not to.