Meet the ‘Latte Lady’ at the heart of Northampton’s hospitality industry serving the best hot drinks

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Jayne now works as a barista in the iconic and newly reopened Lawrence’s Coffeehouse

A Northampton barista working at the heart of Northampton’s hospitality industry shares how she became known as the ‘Latte Lady’.

Jayne Catherine, who has lived in Kingsthorpe all her life, worked in the beauty industry until five years ago when she and her daughter fell on hard times.

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After finding herself unemployed, homeless and with no choice but to find a new job, Jayne landed on her feet when she secured a role at Zapato Lounge – where she fed her daughter in the evenings.

Jayne Catherine, known as the Latte Lady, is a barista at Lawrence's Coffeehouse.Jayne Catherine, known as the Latte Lady, is a barista at Lawrence's Coffeehouse.
Jayne Catherine, known as the Latte Lady, is a barista at Lawrence's Coffeehouse.

From working in the Newland Walk venue, to The Old Grocery Espresso Bar for 18 months, Saints Coffee for a stint and Olly B’s until it closed down, Jayne now finds herself at the newly opened and refurbished Lawrence’s Coffeehouse in St Giles’ Street.

When asked how she acclaimed the title of ‘Latte Lady’, Jayne shared how she went on holiday a couple of years ago – but this was no ordinary getaway.

Jayne pushed herself out of her comfort zone and went on holiday with 30 strangers, where she quickly took on the role of making the teas and coffees.

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Though she was originally known as the ‘tea lady’, she felt she could use the name Latte Lady to showcase her skills and enjoyment for making coffees taste amazing and look pretty.

Jayne joined Lawrence's a month after the newly refurbished venue opened in St Giles' Street at the end of February.Jayne joined Lawrence's a month after the newly refurbished venue opened in St Giles' Street at the end of February.
Jayne joined Lawrence's a month after the newly refurbished venue opened in St Giles' Street at the end of February.

Jayne said: “I’d like to stay working at Lawrence’s as I remember going as a child myself.

“I’ve been welcomed in and have enjoyed my time working for the iconic business so far.”

The Latte Lady soon built up a loyal customer base, who remained dedicated to visiting her workplaces each time she got a new job.

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“It is so lovely as hospitality is sometimes overlooked,” she said. “It is therapy for some people.

Jayne would one day love to open a coffee shop of her own, but is happy working at the iconic Lawrence's for the foreseeable.Jayne would one day love to open a coffee shop of her own, but is happy working at the iconic Lawrence's for the foreseeable.
Jayne would one day love to open a coffee shop of her own, but is happy working at the iconic Lawrence's for the foreseeable.

“Despite having such a varied customer base, I may still be the only person they’ve spoken to that day.

“It’s important to take the time to talk and get to know them, as for most people it is more than just popping in for a coffee.”

As a big supporter of independent businesses, Jayne believes the time you invest in getting to know customers is invaluable – and she one day hopes to be able to do this in a coffee shop of her own.

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Jayne added: “I’m a big advocate for mental health and you can make a big difference by smiling without even realising.”

The Latte Lady says the food and drink scene in Northampton is “buzzing at the moment” and it is important for customers to remember how much a single purchase means.

“When you support a small business, you may be paying for a child’s swimming or football lesson,” she said. “You are contributing to families behind the scenes.”

The newly refurbished Lawrence’s opened to the public at the end of February and Jayne started a month later.

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The Latte Lady says like all new venues, some aspects are a “work in progress” and adaptations are “slowly but surely” being made to the menu.

With traditions kept in place from what the establishment used to be like and offer, as well as the introduction of new things, Jayne advises everyone to keep an eye out for what is to come.

The barista said: “It’s been really busy and I’ve always got my head down in the coffee machine. It’s great to see the vibrancy.”

When asked what it is about Lawrence’s that makes it so special, Jayne believes it all comes down to “being friendly and welcoming people in with a smile”.

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“As long as you try your best, are genuine and put the customer first, that’s the main thing,” she added.

Describing its “iconic feel”, Jayne enjoys hearing stories of customer visits to Lawrence’s many moons ago.

One couple, who were engaged when they used to visit the venue and sit in the snug, have now been married 30 years and recently came back to the coffeehouse.

The barista said: “It’s nostalgic and important to keep hold of that tradition, along with introducing the new.”

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Jayne is proud to be at the heart of the town’s hospitality industry in her role at Lawrence’s and wanted to give back to the community.

She has set herself the challenge of abseiling down the Lift Tower in September in aid of The Lewis Foundation.

“It’s important to support one another,” said Jayne. “Help can go a long way and some people don’t even realise.”

For anyone who would like to donate to the cause, you can pop into Lawrence’s in St Giles’ Street where there is a donation box.

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