Thursday, 9 July 2015

Cielo - Garforth, Leeds

Whenever I return back to the town that I grew up in I always gasp at the things that have changed. It's silly really, it's as if I expect everything to remain the same and as I last left it. You can therefore imagine my surprise when the former HSBC bank that had been in garforth since before I can remember suddenly changed in to a coffee house and cafe.

Garforth is the type of place where charity shops take up the main shopping monopoly, alongside them are travel agents, bakeries, a butchers, a grocers, a Greggs, a greasy spoon and a few mini markets fighting for the footfalls. It's not the kind of place I'd expect to find great coffee. Or it never was before Cielo opened. 

Cielo started life as 'Baraka' in a much smaller shop, I think it may have been an old clothes shop (think granny wear) or building society. They were very popular, and a breath of fresh air from the greasy-spoon cafe filter coffee. 

Cielo is a social enterprise who stream their profits back in to the community and any profits from their roastery go to international communities, currently being supported is a charity in Ethiopia which help children with club foot disease.  

When I return to Garforth to meet with old friends Cielo is always my place of choice. I hadn't until recently visited in the summer months and therefore had no idea that out the back they have a little sun trap. With a few tables and chairs dotted around it's a perfectly relaxing area to drink coffee and burn your shoulders.

Cielo do great coffee, but they also do great hot chocolate and smoothies. They have a limited selection of sandwiches but their home made cakes are always worth a naughty purchase. My particular favourite are the bakewells.

Cielo's staff are some of the nicest people around, and if you're lucky you might meet the handsome young guy who flirts with all the ladies. He particularly likes the blondes ladies.

More local communities should have places like Cielo. Good coffee and a good cause, it's my Garforth bullseye every time. 

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