The Secret Garden

Hi. It’s been a while. It’s been a crazy few months for me and I am so excited about how well my business is going. I have encountered so many wonderful people and received some amazing feedback. I still feel a little like a fraud at times – I find it hard to believe that people will pay good money for something that I have made. But, pay they do, and some even come back for more!

I have been in Cornwall for just over two years now. While we were visiting the county to try and find a place to live we had a trip to Truro. I had to entertain the children while Mr. Green had a business meeting and we pottered around the museum for a while before looking for a café. I had perused the internet beforehand looking for places to go and really liked the sound of ‘The Secret Garden’, a vegetarian café tucked away from the main streets. After a little bit of searching we found it and went in for tea and cake.

That was the first of many trips to The Secret Garden. I went there for lunches with my brother when he visited and we would eat and talk, putting each others worries into perspective. I took my daughter there for ‘grown up’ girly lunches without the boys. I went with my husband when we had some child free time and I went on my own to sit and enjoy some peace. The place saw me through my first 18 months in Cornwall, during lonely times, job changes, bereavement and happy times. It was a constant where there was always a friendly face and always cake. And goodness me, what cakes they had… drool worthy delights that were works of art. Some were a little too fancy for me my tastes but they always looked so beautiful and tasted great.

The Secret Garden isn’t there anymore. I’m sad about that for many reasons. There is, however, a silver lining – it is now owned and run by the lovely Dawn and Paul White and goes by the name of ‘The Cornish Vegan’. It’s different, of course, but it still has great food, friendly staff and, of course, cake. But, now…it’s my cake! I can’t explain how thrilling a feeling it is to have my cake being served in one of my favourite places. And it is even more thrilling to hear the lovely, positive feedback I get from customers; especially those who try my cake in the restaurant then contact me to order more. I went in there recently for an event and felt almost like a celebrity when I was introduced to people and they said “oh, you’re the lady who makes the cakes!” For someone who has always struggled with self esteem it is a real boost to feel that I am doing something right. Even better to know that I am making people happy. I also love the circularity of the continued link with my old haunt.

I have grown as a person since becoming vegan and more so since starting my business. In the book of ‘The Secret Garden’ Mary asks for a bit of earth. She begins to grow things, makes friends and starts to think beyond herself and her own needs. All I need is a little kitchen in which to keep creating, experimenting, learning and providing; and a few friends along the way.