Coventry, you are in for the most ma-hoosive treat as glorious Gloria and Lil’s Parkside Cafe rolls into town! Because although the cafe, located at 33 Parkside, might be new to the city, its history of serving delicious food goes back a long way, and is quite a story.

Gloria and Lil’s grew out of a cake stall that sold home-made bakes as a way of raising money for charity. Deciding she wanted to take her love of baking further, stall-holder Emma then invested in Gloria, a rare 1969 Renault Estafette van, which, with the help of friends, she set about converting her into a cake-and-coffee food truck. Travelling around local events with their gorgeous bakes, the pair met Lil, a dashing young coffee-and-sandwich food truck, with whom they became firm friends. Together the two truck owners realised they shared a single dream: “to take the four wheels that we’d both been trotting around in, and turn them into four walls!”. The result was the much-loved Tool Shed Cafe in Rugby.

Sadly for Rugby, the Tool Shed had to close this autumn – flooding social media with heartbroken customers lamenting its demise – but the good news is: Rugby’s loss is Coventry’s gain! Why? Because last week saw the opening of Gloria and Lil’s brand new Parkside Cafe right here in Cov! Located just outside the ring road, this gem of a place is in a very convenient position for Coventry University’s Technology Park and is also a mere ten minutes’ stroll from the railway station.

Gloria and Lil’s Parkside Cafe is a simple, uncluttered space with lots of natural light flooding in from both front and back, and terrace seating outdoors for warmer days. Visiting on Saturday, I was welcomed by super-helpful staff and with brunch service in full swing, I watched as shining plates of toasted sourdough emerged from the open kitchen, generously topped with a variety of cooked-to-order vegan and non-vegan combinations. There was also a tempting array of cakes and tray-bakes, all home-made, with vegan and gluten-free options available too. Add that to coffee from St Martin’s Coffee Roasters in Leicester and a decent list of proper teas, and Gloria and Lil’s is sure to become a place where Coventry memories are made!

With its signature style of top ingredients simply and lovingly prepared, its committment to quality local sourcing and its terrific taste in music, Gloria and Lil’s is all set to be a superlative asset to Coventry’s cafe culture – after all, it’s literally the same cafe that earlier this year was shortlisted in the ‘Best Warwickshire Cafe’ category of the prestigious Muddy Stiletto Awards; all that’s changed is the setting. Here at Food Covolution, we’re delighted to welcome this great new place to the city and super-excited to see how will they develop in future!

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Gloria and Lil’s is at 33 Parkside, Coventry CV1 2NE. See Facebook page for opening hours.

Some of the material in this article was sourced from a talk at Pecha Kucha Coventry that I attended in 2018. Gluttons for punishment can listen to my own talk on the same web page.