Cafe boss ‘nervous as hell’ as he prepares to expand after finding out that home delivered breakfasts and roast dinners hit the spot
- Credit: Archant
He who dares win may well turn out to be the guiding principles of café entrepreneur Andy Maul as he prepares a move to much bigger premises.
The Wisbech councillor admits to being “as nervous as hell” ahead of the switch of premises for his thriving Bygones café.
“Everyone who works for me is gung-ho about it but they are not the ones spending the money,” he says.
Back in March as the pandemic struck, it all looked different as custom did not simply dry up but disappeared altogether.
“When Covid first kicked in the entire world fell apart,” says Andy.
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“I said to my other half (that’s Vicky Holmes who does the ‘magic’ in the kitchen) we will try deliveries but I’m not sure how they will work.”
Week one was slow “and I thought this is all over and it’s not going to happen”.
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But suddenly the people of Wisbech and surrounding villages got the message that breakfasts, lunches and dinners could be on your doorstep in no time at all. All hot, all at reasonable prices, and tasty too.
“At one point we were sending out 300 meals a day,” he said. “It just went crash. I had three drivers working some days to keep customers happy, I tapped into a need that people seemed to want and to enjoy.”
Now he is on the move, having dug deep to find the cash – and the energy – to expand.
His new restaurant opens in September with socially distanced seating outside for up to 20 and some 30 or so inside.
But with a much bigger kitchen – and the likelihood that many will still be at home for some time – he has the space to serve his home delivered meals too.
“The kitchen is double the size so I can run the delivery side of it from the back end and still have a busy front of house” he says.
Local ingredients, well cooked, a daily range of roast dinners and a great partner is his recipe for success.
He opens for deliveries from 9am to 7pm daily and until 5pm on Sunday with only Mondays off. To catch up on his sleep, too, since he’s a 4am riser.
September 13 is the date he has in mind to open.
He has much to look forward – not least a top of the range milk shake machine And more people to support not just him but all those battling to survive now that lockdown is easing.