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Meet our customers


There’s no such thing as a typical Yorkshire Housing customer. Here we share some of our customer stories.

Lucia Lombardo - pastry chef and street food extraordinaire

Lucia Lombardo, originally from the Puglia in southern Italy, is an experienced and talented pastry chef. Over the past ten years, she has perfected her art while working in both the UK and in her native Italy. Lucia uses recipes and ingredients that her family and friends have had passed down through the generations.

Lucia, who lives in Sheffield, runs her Italian street food business from her home. She set up the street food vendor with a Yorkshire Housing business start-up grant, which gave her the funds she needed to purchase kitchen equipment and the ingredients she needed to start serving the public.

Lucia’s stand in Moor Market, Sheffield, opened in late 2017 under the banner da Zia Lu (At Aunty Lu’s) and it is now a permanent stall on the market, providing the South Yorkshire market with its very own little piece of Mediterranean sunshine.

Visit her Facebook page da Zia Lu for menus and photographs.


Adele Cotton - international florist

Adele Cotton has always had a passion for creating beautiful floral displays and arrangements for her friends, family and loved ones. She decided to turn her hobby into a business after building a strong base of fans and clients on social media over recent years.

Adele’s services are particularly popular with customers in the south of England because of the exceptional value for money her service offers compared to her competitors. She has worked for events taking place as far afield as Cyprus, Mexico and Dubai.

“I’ve had some amazing work come in over the past few months, customers are really pushing me and it has turned my hobby into a rewarding challenge that I love getting stuck into. I think the biggest job so far was a 16-foot display table, it was huge!”

Visit Adele’s Bride’s Facebook page for more information.

Shamsa Bakari - artisan baker

Shamsa owns and runs Fancy Cakes and Crafts on Manchester Road in Bradford. The shop opened its doors for the first time in January 2018 and has being flying ever since.

Shamsa’s artisan bakery has cakes available to order for all occasions and is situated alongside other successful independent businesses on the busy commercial road.

Shamsa was supported by Yorkshire Housing’s community investment team to secure the necessary insurance and health and safety assessments, as well as coaching to build a business plan, cash flow forecasts and pricing. She was awarded a start-up grant to cover initial costs such as display cabinets, marketing materials and business insurance.

Shamsa said: “I’ve always baked and been in love with all things crafty. To be able to open a business where I can share my passion with the community is such a dream come true”.

Fancy Cakes and Crafts is located at 542 Manchester Road, BD5 7LR, contact 07450 879 998 for more information.