It’s early Wednesday afternoon and York’s newest café is buzzing.

Since Mama Doreen’s Emporium opened in the Vangarde Shopping Park last Friday, people have been tucking into a tasty range of sandwiches, cupcakes, high teas, cocktails and more.

Mama Doreen’s Emporium began wowing Harrogate from a market stall in 2009, before moving into a shop in 2011 and its current larger venue in the former Carluccio’s in Station Square in 2019.

Founder Jessica Wyatt, who launched the business with her mum Justine, says trade has been ‘amazing’ since they opened at the former Frankie and Benny’s and The Confessional.


“I’m overwhelmed by the response. We were nervous about coming to York and what to expect and making sure the quality is the same as at Harrogate, and the interior is what people love in Harrogate. We hope to be part of York for many years to come.”

Cream teas, with their selections of sandwiches and fancies have been exceptionally popular.

“I’m constantly filling up our cupcake counter,” Jessica continued.

“And we seem to be getting regulars from Harrogate who live in York, so we are already seeing familiar faces. The support is lovely.”

York Press: Tea is served

Area manager Ian Pilcher is also delighted with the response, adding that Christmas approaches, there will be special Winter Wonderland Afternoon Teas as well as a Willy Wonka tea to tie in with the upcoming Wonka film.

Ian added as a Yorkshire family business, whose motto is that it is ‘baked in Yorkshire’ other branches will open in time, though locations have yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, customers were enjoying their food, leaving clean plates.

Andrea Philips and Melissa Jamieson  with baby Poppy had enjoyed their afternoon tea, saying everything was fabulous, the decor, the atmosphere, the food and the service.

“The staff are very friendly and smart,” Andrea added.

Georgia and Louise Stiles from Northallerton enjoyed sandwiches and cupcakes.

“I can’t get them down quickly enough,” said Georgia.

“It’s unreal. It’s a fantastic place.”

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Louise said: “I like the décor, the ambience, I feel I am somewhere special. The food is great. Its like a new, happy place.”

From Pickering Pauline Hindmarch, Rosemary McWhirter and Melanie Umpleby all agreed Mama Doreen’s Emporium was “absolutely wonderful.”

“The service is excellent, the crockery, the decor and the food. The scones were delicious. Everything was tastefully done,” they said.

David Dhessi from York enjoyed a chicken sandwich and Yorkshire Platter with his wife.

“It was superb, everybody is friendly, you get a nice greeting at the door. It’s clean and spotless,” he added.

The York venue does not have its own listing yet on the reviews website TripAdvisor, but a review from opening day lauded ‘excellent’ food and ‘very professional’ staff.

Overall, the Harrogate branch had 4.5 stars, and out of 906 reviews, 711 were excellent and 83 very good.