LEEK OATCAKE SHOP
Tel. 01538 387556
FORGET RETRO - THIS IS THE REAL MCCOY
If you like visiting working museums and restored Industrial buildings then grab a load o' this. This is history in action. This is history that never went away in the first place: A traditional Staffordshire Oatcake shop with the original shop front which has remained completely unchanged since it opened in 1964. Now that's something you don't see everyday!
Nestled at the bottom of Heywood Street in the quirky little Staffordshire Moorlands town of Leek is the Leek Oatcake Shop. Freshly painted in green and cream with the original Edwardian street sign on the corner, the little shop is sited next to one of the many old mills for which this area is famous. (This is William Morris territory - where he lived and studied the Art of Dyeing, and "Industrial heartland" for the Arts and Crafts movement, supplying William Morris's firm with much of its silk).
Inside the little shop things are functional and basic. The room is dominated by two massive iron griddles which are kept constantly hot and ready. Staffordshire Oatcakes have been made in the traditional manner in this little Oatcake shop since 1964.
A constant stream of people come in and out for this is food for the workers - this is where the real locals get their lunch. And why not when a Bacon and mushroom oatcake can be had for £1.55? - You probably couldn't buy a sandwich for that. And the food is hot, cooked in front of you and ready-to-go in minutes.
Alan and Pauline Smith are serving constantly from 5.45 am most mornings.
MONDAY - WEDNESDAY 6 am - 1 pm
THURSDAY - SATURDAY 5.45 am - 1 pm
SUNDAY 6.45 am - 12 pm
A proper Staffordshire Oatcake is a type of pancake made from oatmeal, flour and yeast (and usually, as in this case, to a 'secret' recipe). A thicker version, a Pikelet, is also available.
Fillings are a basic mix-and-match range of bacon, sausage, mushroom, egg, cheese and onion. A FULL BREAKFAST is £3.70. No wonder so many people pop in here on their way to work!
There is no Website, no e-mail, no Facebook page - Alan scowls when I suggest the question. He goes back to work, his honest weathered face under its white bakers cap turned to pouring out the batter circles on the griddle and flipping them over at just the right moment.
Simple, honest food is what is provided here. The queue tells me all I need to know about advertising.
So here's "word of mouth" - Do what the locals do and grab a piping hot Full Breakfast while you're on the go in Leek.