**THIS POST IS REPUBLISHED FROM 5 JULY 2015 FOLLOWING THE NEWS THAT THE CAFE COULD SOON CLOSE. OUR MESSAGE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A SIMPLE ONE: USE THEM OR LOSE THEM. OUR LEEDS INDIE BUSINESSES LIKE THIS NEED YOUR SUPPORT.**
Did you know that the first ever breeder of the labradoodle species is from Leeds? So it only seems fitting that we’re home to one of the UK’s first dog-friendly cafes. While dogs have been welcome in various country pubs, it’s hard to find a completely family-friendly option for doglovers. So we were delighted to be invited to The Doghouse Cafe at the top of Yeadon High Street, along with our ten year old pug, Bridget.
With fresh cakes, coffees and sandwiches on the menu, The Doghouse Cafe got a definite thumbs up from us (humans) and several enthusiastic wags from our canine companion. Just a stone’s throw from Yeadon Tarn, we were able to take Bridget for a little potter before carefully introducing her to some of the cafe’s regulars (she’s a little nervous around big pups!)
Inside we found a very friendly Tracey Anderson, a lady that gave up an established career to live her dream and open up a cosy cafe in North Leeds. Tracey clearly loves the dogs as much as she loves the paying customers, with each one featuring on their Facebook page, allowing you to see the family of friends the cafe has built up since it opened last year. While munching on cheese on toast, she told us the premise behind her doggy dream…
Who are you and how did you get here?
We are The Doghouse Cafe based in Yeadon near the airport. We opened in October 2014 as a new venture as a completely unique dog friendly cafe. I actually used to work in funeral services but an opportunity came up for us to set this up and off we went. I own cats (which people think is really funny!) but I love all animals, and wanted to create somewhere that canines could chill out with their owners.
What do you think makes The Doghouse Cafe unique?
We have friendly staff, great cakes, good coffee, a warm welcome assured, whatever the weather. Dog cafes would seem quite mad in other cultures where dogs are readily accepted into society, but in Britain they’re a rarity.
What can customers expect from you?
We’re primarily a coffee shop but we actively encourage dogs to be off the lead so they can play with other dogs. We offer toys, treats, water and towels for the more wet and muddy hounds. We’re right by Yeadon Tarn so we often get muddy visitors! A safety gate is installed for dog safety. We also offer one-to-one socialisation classes on an evening.
What’s your favourite item on the menu?
I love our lemon sponge cake (you can’t beat a classic!) which is £2. You can get pie and peas for just £1.80, or a firm favourite is our tasty Ploughman’s lunch for £3.
What are your bestsellers?
Cheese on toast covered in thick cheddar or hot chocolate and marshmallows for those colder days. We always have a selection of fresh cakes which always go down well with a coffee.
What do you think makes Leeds so awesome?
I was born here haha! It just is awesome. It’s very diverse. Where else would you find a doggy cafe?!
Where do you like to hangout apart from your own cafe?
I love Cafe Lento in Headingley for good food and live music and Richard, the owner, is lovely!
Finally, describe The Doghouse Cafe in three words…
We. Love. Dogs.