Meet Me at the Cupcake Café: A Novel in Recipes

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café: A Novel in Recipes

by Jenny Colgan


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"[A] heartwarming story a la Bridget Jones' Diary with a twist...Colgan folds in a colorful cast of characters and whips up an easy, sweet read."—USA Today

Issy Randall can bake. No, Issy can create stunning, mouthwateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, Issy has undoubtedly inherited his talent. She's much better at baking than she is at filing, so when she's laid off from her desk job and loses her boyfriend, Issy decides to open her own little café. But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake recipe for a fresh start might be a little more complicated than throwing some sugar and butter together.

A smart, quirky contemporary confection of recipes and friendship, Meet Me at the Cupcake Caféis about how life might not always taste like you expect, but there's always room for dessert!

Also by Jenny Colgan:
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris
Sweetshop of Dreams

What reviewers are saying about Meet Me At The Cupcake Café:
"A hilarious, fast-paced fantasy about starting over, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella. Absolutely adorable."—Booklist
"A funny novel about friendship, food and love... "—Kirkus
"A delightful story... warm, funny and well-written."—Fresh Fiction
"Absolutely adorable... charming... an endearing, delightful read"—Silver's Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492694823
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 572
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

A former columnist for The Guardian, Jenny Colgan contributes regularly to national BBC radio and is the author of more than eleven bestselling novels, including her recent international bestsellers The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris published in 2014 and Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year award from the Romantic Novelists Association. She is married with three children and lives in London and France.

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Meet Me at the Cupcake Café: A Novel with Recipes 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Andreat78 More than 1 year ago
I spent a significant amount of my early 20s devouring books by Sophie Kinsella and Jane Green. I'm not sure why I veered away from the genre, but Meet Me at the Cupcake Café was an adorable and fun story that reminded me of why I love British Women's Fiction so much. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café centers around Issy Randal, a sweetheart of a woman who finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less, and she's lost. As the granddaughter of a baker, she grew up learning the art of baking, it's her art. In a moment of inspiration, Issy founds the Cupcake Café. Starting a business is no easy task, but with the help from her new friend Pearl, banker Austin, and her friends, the café is bound to be successful. But Issy learns that happiness with her job does not guarantee happiness in her personal life. At the end of the day, her friends have their own lives, and she is still lonely. All the while, Issy and Austin have become friends, of sorts, though Austin is hesitant to become involved with a client. And then there's the ex-boyfriend Graeme....Gorgeous, charismatic, and an utter self-involved jerk. But with Austin's hesitance and Graeme's sudden re-appearance in her life, Issy may just make the wrong choice. This was such a fun story, one that left me smiling and craving a cupcake. I love Women's Fiction, mainly because though there may be a romance of sorts, they're ultimately the heroine's personal journey. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café was also a story of friendship, and that's where it truly shined for me. I loved that Issy found such deep and strong friendships in the women around her. These were the women who helped keep her afloat when she was down. When the business struggled, and when she struggled with the men in her life, Issy always had her friends. A story about finding one's self and friendship, and a slew of delicious recipes, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café is a story that left me with a smile on my face, and a strong sweet tooth!
Anonymous 6 months ago
This was my first Jenny Colgan book and I definitely will try another one of hers. I enjoyed her writing, the story was pretty predicable to me but a cute beach read. Excited to try some of the recipes as well!
Becka 6 months ago
Thanks go to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is my first experience with Jenny Colgan’s writing and I can happily say it won’t be my last. I dearly love stories with main characters who step outside their comfort zones to pursue a dream, and that’s exactly what this sweet story serves up with main character Issy. I was thrilled to see that Issy and the supporting cast of characters return in a few sequels, which I look forward to reading. I believe I’ve found a new “go-to” author in Jenny Colgan!
aharey 6 months ago
Issy Randall needs a new life- she's been made redundant at her city job and wants to do something she loves. She decides to open her own cupcake bakery, using her grandfather's recipes. As she gets her shop up and running, she gathers characters around her that really make this story pop. This is a story that I could not put down. Definitely one of Jenny Colgan's best!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe is a delightful story. I always like reading Jenny Colgan, so it's not surprising that I liked it. I also love cupcakes, so that's a bonus! The story is warm hearted, light and will make you smile. It's a fast entertaining read that's well written. The characters are loveable and endearing, and you'll probably recognize them in people you know. Such a cute and charming pick me up story. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Cat_Reader 6 months ago
Issy was raised by her lovely grandfather between cakes and cupcakes. With her big heart and sweetness, she always sees the positive side of everything but found herself groundless when her boss dismisses her and on top of that ends the hidden relationship he had with her, ending her dream to start a family. His grandfather is now older and lives under permanent care and, moreover, is forgetting something all the time. At this difficult and heartbroken moment, she discovers a willingness to set up her own cupcake cafe. Using the recipes she keeps along with her grandfather's notes, she goes to the struggle to make this dream a viable reality that makes her earn money to keep herself and the business and succeed. In this process, she surrounds herself with unique and special people who support her and bond with her and the cupcake cafe. Each of them also has their personal and professional struggles and this is what I was able to follow during reading. This is the second book I read of this writer and I confess that I loved it and didn’t love it . I loved watching Issy grow, fight, and mature. I loved the scene in the aquarium. I loved all the recipes that open many chapters and the comments of Issy's grandfather, which moved me very much to create a strong bond with him. I loved to see how she fought for her store, but I confess that her love affairs annoy so very much, first of all Graeme who is clearly selfish and treats her like trash and she does not even think twice about every time he calls her. I didn’t like either Austin ,his poorly developed story of admiration for Issy but did nothing to really demonstrate what he felt. It's okay that he redeems himself at end, but I wanted more connection. As I realized that the characters are very human in flaws and qualities, I believe that the writer wanted to show the controversial nature of the human being, but I also did not like Helena's behavior at a crucial point in the plot and I thought Pearl's ending could have a better closure. Another detail that struck me was the behavior of Austin's brother, Darny, who looked more like a six-year-old, seven-year-old, not a ten-year-old boy. Anyway, the reading was good and light, very tasty for the summer.
AMGiacomasso 6 months ago
I love Jenny Colgan's book because they talk about real women who face real problem and win. This book is no exception, just some pages and I was hooked. I liked the character development, the evolution of Issy from a sort of wallflower to a strong woman. I loved the mouthwatering recipes, the friendship and the tenderness. It's a heartwarming book and it made me smile and feel good. It was a good reading experience, engrossing and entertaining. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
LouiseFoerster 6 months ago
Issy is a baker, born and bred. When she loses her job, she imagines and brings into reality the cupcake shop of her dreams, launching herself and the others who join her into imagining and living a life that is larger, warmer, and more wide open to joy than they ever dreamed possible. Colgan creates a world that the reader does not want to leave, knowing what you hope for the determined Issy and her cohorts. In this light, fast read, the reader is gifted with an array of characters ranging from the very young to the very old, the posh yummy mummies and the not so posh barely hanging on. In sum, this story is characteristic Colgan, light and airy as the finest meringeue and yet reliably substantial and trustworthy, well-paced and well-wrought pleasure.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Thanks to Sourcebooks for re-issuing this delightful title by Jenny Colgan. It was the first of her books that I read and I have been reading her stories ever since. The author has a knack for developing relatable characters and warmhearted story lines. In this one Issy Randall takes a risk and starts her own business. The Cupcake Cafe is an appealing place in a lovely town. You will feel that you can taste Issy's food as you read the novel. This is also a love story and a story about friendship. For readers who want to read a book for sheer enjoyment this one is highly recommended. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to revisit Issy and co.
nicx27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's the story of Issy Randall, who is made redundant from her city job. She's a fantastic baker, just like her grandfather before her, who is her inspiration, and so she decides to open a cupcake cafe with her redundancy money.This is such a lovely book. It fits in with all those dreams we all have of opening our own little business, and I was rooting for Issy all along to succeed, to dump her useless, preening boyfriend and get on with making her life what she wanted it to be.A lot of the chapters had some really lovely sounding recipes at the beginning and I'm going to try some of them for myself. I thought this book was well-written with some frivolities, and some serious parts. I raced through it and enjoyed every minute I spent reading it. I understand there will be a sequel at Christmas and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Fantastic!
mrn945 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Light and frothy, perfect for the summer or a head-cold (which is what I've been suffering from). Who else gets a head-cold in the middle of summer??In any case, this was a fun novel, and it included a slew of really great sounding recipes! The novel is set in London, where a thirty-year-old women has realized what we all realize at one point. We're getting older and unhappy with our safe course. Issy has a boyfriend she likes, but who doesn't like her. She has an ok job, but it doesn't make her happy. Her mother is distant, her grandfather is sick, and her friends are all settling down. When she gets laid off in a crap economy with no job prospects, she takes a crazy chance and follows her passion - making cupcakes!Opening a cupcake cafe may seem a little nuts, and maybe it is, but she's so sweet and passionate for baking that you cannot help but be swept up and want her to win. Naturally, there are a few bumps along the road. Should she go back to the jerk boyfriend or give a new guy a chance? How will she run this cafe without her grandpa's guidance? Can she settle into the community?Issy is a sweet character. She's so innocent, even though, at times, you wish she should could see the true character of her jerk boyfriend. On the other hand, I think most young women have had a relationship like this at some point, so it's not that terrible a flaw. The supporting cast adds a great comedic element, and I liked that none of the characters felt too...typical. They were quirky and adorable!
super_nicola on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jenny Colgan virgin so i picked this up expecting it to be a bit wishy washy. Wow was i wrong.This book not only shares the trials of family life, lovers, friendships. It also gives you amazing baking reciepes at the start of every chapter. I am now a Jenny Colgan fan. Please read this book if you are not on a diet because it makes your mouth water.
TheGoldenPen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To Issy Randall baking was in her genes; it was in her blood. Growing up in Grandpa Joe's Bakery helped. Issy would sit beside Grandpa Joe as he baked his bread and iced each bun with the utmost dedication. "Bread is the Staff of Life!" he'd often say to Issy. Fast forward twenty odd years or so when Issy is thirty-one; she now lives with her roommate Helena, a nurse in London. She often visits Grandpa Joe in the Nursing home and he promised to write down all his recipes for Issy. Issy loved to bake cupcakes; she would turn up at work with a Tupperware box full of cupcakes much to her colleagues delight. In a word, Issy Randall can create stunning, mouth-watering cupcakes that are lighter than air...she doesn't even measure her ingredients but waltzes around the kitchen, throwing ingredients into her bowl and whizzing it with her electric mixer. After being made redundant from her office job at Stoke Newington Municipal office and dismissed by her boss and lover, Graeme, Issy became depressed. Encouraged by her roommate Helena, Issy decided to open up her very own Cupcake Cafe. " How hard could it be?" she thought to herself. Opening her own Cupcake Cafe would show that no good lover of hers a thing or two about her determination and skills. She found a nice little shop on Pear Tree Court that was on sale which she made an investment on with her redundancy money from her admin job, and turned it into the business of her dreams. Nothing could be easier than opening your own cafe, right? What's there to do but bung some cake in the oven, feed a few customers and reap the profits? Wrong. Issy didn't count on the gazillion forms and applications she had to fill and then there were the builders to contend with the bank managers, the auditors and the cantankerous old snobbish ladies from the cooperative who confronted Issy about her baking junk and stealing their customers; but Issy Randall was determined and she met each obstacle head on! The Cupcake Cafe opened for business and thanks to Pearl, a recently unemployed single mother whom Issy met at the Resettlement courses meeting held on Oxford Street, London, Issy and Pearl turned the Cafe into a warm and cosy little place to sit, enjoy a sweet morsel , a good cup of coffee and chat away whilst watching the world go by. But Issy didn't know what was behind the corner threatening to shut up Shoppe. I fell in love with the book from the start and couldn't put it down. I, too, identified with Issy, being a home baker myself. I envisioned the role of Issy being portrayed by Anne Hathaway should it ever become a movie. The author throws in many delightful recipes throughout the book and delights her audience with tiny morsels of information of baking. The characters are very true to life and the reader can identify with them. I fell in love with Grandpa Joe and cried my eyes out when he passed away! Another character that is strange but endearing is the Ironmonger who strangely creeps behind the shadows under certain scenes. He is a dark but very real and human character which the author slowly reveals to the audience towards the end. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe is the type of book a person can read many times in their lives and never get bored with it. It is a light and pleasant read. Like a decadent chocolate cupcake, this Novel will tantalize anyone's taste buds. The author does have the habit of overextending her fondness of the word 'had' throughout the book which I found annoying; other than this, I should say, this is a tastefully good read. I praise the author for a great piece of fiction.
jpcoggins More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected!  Its a little "fluffy", like you might expect by the name and pink cover and just the idea of cupcakes which are half cake and half frosting.  But there is a plot and nuanced story here with many lovable characters and storylines.  I agree with other  reviewers that it is also fun to read a book by a foreign author, with the story taking place in London.  It makes you feel like you had a little adventure in another corner of the world.  Some of her humor made me  laugh out loud too!  On top of a light-hearted read, you get free recipes!  This book will make you cheer for the underdogs and feel good all over.  You might even want to make a mess in your kitchen and bake some cupcakes for yourself and to give away as gifts!  Enjoy, with your favorite hot beverage!