Best friends keep their hands in The Cookie Jar in Leyland

Kerry Telford and Sharon Whiteside owners of The Cookie Jar, Golden Hill, Leyland, re-opened after a refurbishment.
Kerry Telford and Sharon Whiteside owners of The Cookie Jar, Golden Hill, Leyland, re-opened after a refurbishment.

If you work with your best friend, it is hardly work at all! Kerry Telford and Sharon Whiteside have known each other for 35 years, after living in the same street – Spring Meadow in Clayton-le-Woods – as children.

As they played together, they realised they had a special kind of friendship.

Sharon Whiteside joint owner of The Cookie Jar, Golden Hill, Leyland

Sharon Whiteside joint owner of The Cookie Jar, Golden Hill, Leyland

Fast forward three decades, with marriages, births and several different jobs, the pair have finally achieved their dream of owning a coffee shop together.

Earlier this year they took over The Cookie Jar, in Golden Hill Lane, Leyland, and following months of refurbish-ment works, they have reopened, serving cake, breakfast foods and afternoon tea to the community. A festive-themed afternoon tea is also on the menu and Prosecco is also an additional treat.

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Kerry, 43, of Leyland, says: “Sharon and I have been life long friends and we do everything together. It has always been an idea for us to run a coffee shop together. We saw a great opportunity in our home town for a small, quirky and cosy cafe and it went from there.

“We put our own mark on it and played on the name Cookie Jar with two round cookies for the double Os.

“This is something we had always wanted to do and thought it was a nice venture to take on.

“We are a coffee shop, specialising in afternoon tea.

“No matter what age you are, you can go to a coffee shop with your family and friends and enjoy a nice drink and afternoon tea.

“We wanted somewhere small, but cosy where people can just walk in.

“I love meeting the local people and hearing their positive feedback on the place. I feel we are part of the community.”

The pair run the coffee shop together, with other members of their family pitching in, while juggling other full time jobs.

Kerry, a former police officer, is a business development manager and Sharon works in accountancy and is an independent travel agent.

The mother-of-two adds: “The coffee shop is open seven days a week.

“I have taken some leave from work and seeing how it all goes.

“We have family and friends who are also helping us at the moment, which is great.”

Sharon, who also has two children, says: “I’ve always wanted to own a coffee shop or a small bed and breakfast, either here or abroad - possibly Tenerife.

“I am in this trade as I like to make a difference to people. I want to make sure everyone goes out with a smile and they have enjoyed what they have paid for in a nice comfortable relaxing homely environment.

“I am passionate about what I do and I want to make this a successful business for the pair of us.”

Sharon adds working with Kerry means a lot to her and they have dedicated the business to their mums, who are no longer with them.

She explains: “I really enjoy working with Kerry. We are sharing a lifelong dream and goal with each other.

“We do still have a laugh about things that we would outside of The Cookie Jar.

“We’ve gone through a lot over the decades and I’d say the biggest for us both is losing our mums. They were both taken too young from us within a few years apart. So this is for them.

“We’ve established our roles in The Cookie Jar early on and that’s working. We have to maintain honest and open communication and make sure we are on the same business page.

“We stay friends off the clock, too. Team Cookie takes family holidays together, although there is not much time at the moment.”

Although The Cookie Jar specialises in sweet treats and afternoon tea, the 45-year-old admits she prefers savoury foods.

She reveals: “My favourite thing on the menu is not cake. I’m much more of a savoury person, I like bacon butties. I really enjoy turkey stuffing and cranberry, which is festive but I would have that all year round.”

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