Lucia’s path as a female entrepreneur

In honour of International Women’s Day, we had the pleasure of interviewing Lucia, founder of La Maritxu, an acclaimed Basque cheesecake shop in Connaught Village.

1Can you explain your role in one sentence?I am the founder of the London La Maritxu shop and café. I think of my work like my baby - I want to sell our cheesecakes, but I also want to hold onto them! My role is about providing a service and nurturing relationships.

2How long have you been doing this job?I actually worked as an architect for five years before starting La Maritxu. In November 2021, I started an online business, working alongside my day job. I did this for two years, selling cheesecakes online and at food markets around London. It came to a point (when 100 cheesecakes a week were sold) where I needed to decide between architecture and my business. I’ve been running the shop full time since November of 2023.

3Did you find yourself in this role by accident or by design?By accident, definitely. I’m not used to baking at home. My mother was very protective over the kitchen! Whilst working, I began to see places around London selling Basque cheesecakes. I’m from the Basque region, so I thought ‘why not start making them myself?’. My sister actually opened a La Maritxu shop in Ecuador at the same time as me!

4What’s the best part about your role?I understand people and cultivating relationships with customers is what I’m best at. I love getting to know people in the local area, and I still maintain ongoing relationships with my first customers.

5What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened to you in your job?Something strange happens everyday. Recently, a customer told me that they own phone booths across London and want us to do a pop-up cheesecake store in one of them! It sounds amazing but I think we would struggle with the space.

6What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?I love sports, particularly swimming. I love spending time with my friends and family. I also love eating out. I save all my money for food. Colbeh is a recent discovery for me in Connaught Village, an amazing restaurant.

7What do you like about this area?The neighbours. People will come into the shop and tell me they live around the corner. I love chatting to local people and getting to know them.

8To help us to celebrate international women’s day, what advice would you give for any young women aspiring to start their own business?I think that you need somebody who can support you and that you should accept support from the people around you. Regardless of who we are, everybody gets tired. You also need to be committed and consistent.

9What is the best lesson you have learnt as a woman in business?Good communication is key to solving problems. I have learnt that in both my personal life and in my business. Communication is important on a small level, over the counter, and for bigger decisions. Also, you need to improvise a lot in business.

10Who is YOUR hero and what is it about them that inspires you?My father. He had his ups and downs, but he always worked hard to get back up again. Life is long, so there are always going to be issues. As long as you find a way to overcome obstacles, it will be okay.

11If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?North Korea - I’m just curious. I also want to ski in Canada and be in amongst the mountains and the beautiful landscape.