Baking runs in the family. Laura Sheldrake’s mum Julie used to run a business making wedding cakes and now her daughter has followed in her footsteps by turning her eye-catching, mouth-watering and original bakes into a business. In the spring, the former advertising executive became the proud owner of Olive, a 46-year-old refurbished, vintage Peugeot
Baking runs in the family. Laura Sheldrake’s mum Julie used to run a business making wedding cakes and now her daughter has followed in her footsteps by turning her eye-catching, mouth-watering and original bakes into a business.
In the spring, the former advertising executive became the proud owner of Olive, a 46-year-old refurbished, vintage Peugeot J7 van from which she runs Doorstep Coffee, selling her delicious home-made cakes, biscuits, teas and barista-style Chimney Fire coffees.
“I have always been a baker, for as long as I can remember; it is always what I have wanted to do in some capacity,” said Laura who was keeping a hungry and thirsty crowd of mums and dads who were watching their kids play football at Long Ditton Rec, fed and ‘watered’ in one of her regular Saturday morning slots when The Good Life stopped by.
“The original idea was to get a coffee shop, but I thought a mobile van was a lot more flexible, and more akin to how people’s lives have changed a bit since Covid,” said Laura who acquired Olive from Belgium, before she was made fit for purpose and then kitted out by the family ready for the launch of the business in April. “With lockdown, people working from home, and people out and about a lot more, the idea of getting takeaway coffee and stuff has grown a lot recently, and people are more local to here now day-to-day rather than commuting.”
Laura spotted a gap in the market for coffee facilities, particularly in local parks. “It is nice to bring something to the community – that is what I wanted to do.”
Her quality coffees, tea, hot chocolate, cold drinks, biscuits and cakes are big draws.
“I make everything myself. The most popular thing is the Anzac (Australian/New Zealand) biscuits, which is made of oat and coconut. They are a really great biscuit and not seen very widely here. That is something that I have tried to do with all my bakes, to make things that are different, with different flavours, things that you don’t routinely see, just to add a bit of variety to what you might be able to get elsewhere.”
Laura said carrot cake was a good example. Hers was made from carrot, maple and pecan loaf. Another was her marble loaf, a favourite when she was a child, but again something you don’t see very often these days. Her chocolate, orange, cheesecake brownies, were also very popular as was her banana bread which she said everyone loved.
Olive’s schedule – check for updates – is posted every Sunday on Instagram and Facebook.
As well as regular slots at the Long Ditton Recreation Ground off Windmill Lane tucked in next to the pavilion, The George Evelyn pub in Ditton Hill Road, Giggs Hill Green, Thames Ditton, and St Andrew’s Church, Oxshott, she also caters for private events.
Email [email protected] or phone 07967 688795.