A Ballymena businesswoman is on the right track to success after securing a beautiful and historic location for her new cafe.
The owner of The Ticket Bakehouse, Maia White, opened her café in September in the former ticket office of Cullybackey Railway Station.
Maia remarked that “The first week was so overwhelming in the best way. It was incredible. Selling out, I didn’t know how much to make, I thought I had made loads”.
Sharing the building’s history, Maia said, “This was the old ticket office… the hatch, everything is all original”. Adding that when she first visited “it was derelict, it needed so much work”.
After working in a bakery, a café, and running her own Blondie Bakes business, Maia said “I love hospitality…I wouldn’t be in any other job”.
Therefore, when she returned home one day to pay the boiler operator and the unexpected offer came up to open her own café, Maia couldn’t resist.
“Mum was like, this man has something he wants to ask you. I have never met this man in my life, what’s he going to say! And then, he said my son has a place that would do very well to have a café and would like to ask you if you want to put one in there. I cried I think”.
At The Ticket Bakehouse, Maia takes pride in her baked goods all being made in-house. She exclaimed, “It would break my heart to give someone a day-old scone, because if I’m going to do something, I want to do it right”.
Looking to the future, Maia reveals that there are many opportunities, from opening another café to expanding her current premises, hosting closed night dinners or an al fresco dining experience with a pizza oven.
The Ticket Bakehouse can be followed on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
Holly Fleck is an Ulster University Journalism Graduate and current Journalism MA student at Ulster University. She has a passion for Health and Business reporting. Holly has previously hosted UUSU's The Student Show podcast, Ulster University events as well as contributing content to QR's The Scoop and Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary.