Cycling lover Louise Riddell is living her dream - and she’s helping the people of Wearside to get fit as well.
The 40-year-old Sunderland woman had an ambition to own and run her own café, and it has come true after opening Fausto Coffee in Roker.
It has Louise’s own touches including her love of cycling and her hero Fausto Coppi - the Italian legend who won the Giro d’Italia five times.
The café even has its own cycling club.
Louise, who is mum to Quinn, eight, Erin, seven, and Fran and Beatrix, both five, and whose husband Peter is just as big a backer of cycling, said: “I have probably had a dream of doing this for 10 to 12 years.”
But it finally became a reality when her children got a little older and the time was right.
We have got a pretty diverse crowd there. It seems to engage the community. It lends itself to somewhere where people can sit and chat. It is a social hubLouise Riddell
Now Fausto has been nominated for an Echo Portfolio award just three months after it opened for business.
Louise said: “You do something like this for the passion you have got and not for awards. I am shell-shocked to be nominated.”
She said Fausto “welcomes cyclists and everyone else” and added: “We have got a pretty diverse crowd there. It seems to engage the community.
“It lends itself to somewhere where people can sit and chat. It is a social hub.”
Fausto’s highlights include a mural tribute to the Giro d’Italia.
The nomination for the café said: “It is a unique business to this area.”
We’re off to a great start with many nominations but we want more.
Make it Sunderland is again our headline sponsor, and will sponsor our overall Business of the Year Award, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award, which is in the sponsor’s gift.
This year sees a new category, also sponsored by Make It Sunderland, which will recognise the contribution social enterprises make to the city.
Sponsors are Gentoo, Stagecoach, Andrew James, Station Taxis, TTR Barnes, Thompson Waste, Sunderland BID and Maxim Facilities Management Ltd, while Sunderland College is our partner sponsor.
• To nominate, visit www.jpne-events.co.uk or e-mail email@example.com, or fill in the form in today’s paper.