A WOMAN with a "track record" of delivering great service in the borough has opened her latest venture in Atherton.

Following the success of Alexanders Coffee Shop and Luisco Chocolate at Haigh Woodland Park, Colette Alexander has now opened Café Iris at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre.

As with her two other businesses, Café Iris draws inspiration from Colette’s family and she hopes it can become a real hub in the community.

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Leigh Journal: Café Iris has opened up at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre in AthertonCafé Iris has opened up at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre in Atherton (Image: Wigan Council)

The Wigan-born mum-of-two, who named her first business Luisco Chocolate after sons Luca, 10, and Isaac, 8, explained: “The name Café Iris is a nod to my dad who passed away really suddenly a few months ago.

“Whenever me and my little boys see a rainbow we always say it’s from grandad - and Iris is the Greek goddess of rainbows. My grandma’s favourite flower was the Iris too, so that’s why the logo is the goddess with an Iris in her hair.

“Café Iris is a different challenge from my other businesses, a new customer base, and I’m really excited to see how it goes.

Located in Atherton's gym and swimming centre, the cafe will serve the community seven days a week with hot drinks, breakfasts, lunches and a wide range of healthy snacks and delicious treats.

There will also be a fitness focus with protein boxes, protein shakes and meal preps on offer.

Additionally, Colette wants the wheelchair-friendly venue to be a focal point for the local community; with Chatty Café tables to combat social isolation and a community bookcase already part of her plans.

Leigh Journal: 'Top scran this way''Top scran this way' (Image: Wigan Council)

Colette explained: “I’ve sort of come from nothing. I grew up on a council estate with my mum and worked my way up. I’ve struggled and I’ve seen friends and family struggle, so I always like to help people where I can because I know how hard life can be.

“I think people really warm to us because we’re a small business who really love our customers and get to know them. We’ve got regulars and we get to know all about their kids, their life, their work. We’re like a support network for people and we love that.”

Serving the community seven days a week, Café Iris will be open from 9am-8pm in the week and from 8am-4pm at the weekend.

Leigh Journal: Howe Bridge Leisure Centre, on Eckersley Fold LaneHowe Bridge Leisure Centre, on Eckersley Fold Lane (Image: Google Maps)

Councillor Chris Ready, portfolio holder for communities at Wigan Council, added: “We know people have been excited about the opening of our new café for a while now and I’m sure everyone who comes here will absolutely love it!

“Colette and her team have a track record of delivering great service for customers and share our passion for the local community.

“Whether you’re looking to relax after a swim or a trip to the gym, meeting friends for a chat and a bite to eat or taking the kids to soft play, Café Iris is the perfect place - with fabulous food and drink, and a warm, friendly atmosphere guaranteed.”