Some premises just seem cursed, with business after business trying to succeed there, only for them to put up a ‘Closed’ sign months later.
So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the latest coffee shop to open in numbers 13 to 15 Hough Lane in Leyland town centre – the third there in as many years – will last the test of time.
And following my visit there recently, I expect the recently opened Aroma’s Coffee Bar and Patisserie will be a hit with the people of Leyland.
When I spoke to the owner, Tara Watson, before it opened, she told me that she wanted to develop an upmarket cafe with home-made bread and cakes, as well as delicious coffee.
And I have to say, it seems as though she’s delivered on that promise.
Although I didn’t try any of the cakes when I popped in for breakfast, I certainly agree that she’s managed to create an incredibly stylish coffee lounge with a range of trendy sofas, chairs and tables, and even a coffee table full of real coffee beans under the glass cover.
The walls are decorated with artwork and the whole décor could pass for the type of thing you’d find in swanky Manchester or Chelsea.
As Tara said: “Leyland needs something like this.”
But it was the counter area which really caught my eye – covered in a variety of tasty-looking cakes and other baked goods, as well as some chocolate-covered fruit. There’s also a Frederick’s ice cream cabinet, which is a winner in my eyes.
It all feels very cute and comfortable, quirky and unique. A far cry from chained coffee shops.
And as our server announced to my partner as he ordered a latte with an extra espresso shot: “Are you sure you want an extra shot? It already comes with two.
“We’re not like Starbucks where we charge you for a second shot just so you can taste the coffee.”
So no, thanks, he was happy with the two shots, and very satisfying it was.
I opted for the freshly-made passion fruit smoothie, which also came with mango, and although the service wasn’t particularly fast, it was worth the wait.
Refreshing and fruity without being too sweet, it really hit the spot.
There was quite a variety of breakfast choices on the menu (which is in the form of chalk boards behind the counter), from pancakes with fruit to yogurt and muesli .
It all sounded rather healthy, and there were no bacon or sausages to be found.
We both opted for something from the lunch menu in the end, which includes salads, toasties and paninis.
I had a lightly-toasted bagel with Philadelphia cheese and smoked salmon, and Jack had a vegetarian wrap with pesto, tomatoes, avocado and other pieces of goodness, both served with salad.
The portions looked quite small at first, but turned out to be just the right amount to satisfy us without making us feel too full, and we both really enjoyed the food.
The bill came to £13.20.
Name: Aroma’s Coffee Bar and Patisserie
Address: 13-15 Hough Lane, Leyland
Contact: 01772 451643
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 8.30am until 5.30pm, and Sunday 10am until 4pm
Wheelchair access: Yes