A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life… Teresa Murray, owner/manager of Linen & Latte, Glengormley

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
Front of house, barista, chef, dishwasher, toilet cleaner… you name it. As owner/manager of the business, you have to be able to step into whatever needs to be done.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
Before this I worked as an interior designer, but I was always into food. I had an unusual upbringing in that the only time my daddy cooked was on a Sunday evening, but he made the most amazing food and was always experimenting. He would make Italian, Chinese and Indian food, which was unusual back then. In 1961, the year I was born, he went to the Ideal Home Exhibition and bought a Bamix stick blender, and I still have it. One of our treats as children would have been to go into town to Sawers on a Saturday and pick up bits and pieces for dad to use so that’s where my love of food came from. Having lived in town where you have all these lovely places, when I met my husband and moved to Glengormley, there wasn’t the sort of place I wanted to go. My daughter had moved to Brighton, where there are so many fabulous places, and it sowed a seed that just grew. Things started coming together, and then we used our savings and took a leap. I would still dabble in interior design, and I like to think Linen & Latte is design-led. I put a lot of thought into everything I do; the shop, how it looks, the food and what goes into the food.

WHAT ARE THE BEST & WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?
The best part is the customers; 95% of our customers get what we’re trying to do and they’ve embraced it completely. The worst part is the other 5% of customers who don’t get it, and that’s ok.

WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING?
Dealing with food allergies and managing customers’ expectations can be challenging but none of them are big challenges, they’re all parts of the whole. There are so many things you have to take into consideration from hygiene, health and safety to payroll and VAT, and at times it just gets overwhelming.

OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY
That’s the thing with hospitality; no two days are the same. For example, Wednesday would traditionally be quite a quiet day for us but this week it was quiet in the morning and then we were rammed for two hours solid and lifted as much money as we did on Saturday. One of the things I’ve learnt now is to be prepared, open the door and just hope for the best.

PROUDEST MOMENT TO DATE
It’s something I don’t do very often, but it’s when I stand back and look at the space and the buzz the Linen & Latte team has created, and the friends we’ve made. We have won loads of awards, which we’re really proud of, but my proudest thing is actually putting Glengormley on the map as somewhere nice to go.

BEST THING ABOUT THE LOCAL SECTOR
While there’s no real community within the hospitality businesses in this area, I have met some really kind, giving people in the wider sector. Johnny and Rachel in Haptik in Newtownards, Bridgeen and Mark in Established in Belfast and Johnny and Kate at Bridewell Coffee in Donaghadee have been very supportive, and I think it’s important to pay it forward.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?
Garden and drink… I still dabble in interiors at home and I do garden a lot; it’s my salvation. I grow some of the fruit and veg for Linen & Latte in my garden at home.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW
Given who I am and that I never stop talking, I don’t think there’s much about myself that people don’t know about me or mine. I love Poirot and would love to go on the Orient Express. I used to have a bridal salon, and design and make wedding dresses. I used to be a punk as a teenager in the 1970s and am in the credits of the Good Vibrations movie. Surprisingly, I’m good at keeping a secret even though I talk so much.

 

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