Owner of Bygones Cafe talks about serving the community for our Shop Local campaign
- Credit: Archant
Community is at the heart of Bygones Cafe, which recently moved into much bigger premises in Hill Street.
Owner Andy Maul took the plunge after delivering hundreds of meals to customers in the area during lockdown.
As well as accommodating between 20 and 30 socially distanced diners, the cafe can also keep deliveries going with its larger kitchen.
The Wisbech town councillor said: “Wisbech is all about its community, and we have a strong community spirit here.
“We have customers who been coming in since we first opened 27 years, and now their kids and bringing in their kids.
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“But we really try to engage with our customers, get to know them by name, what they order - and that really goes a long way.”
As well as having a strong connection to their customers, Andy also talked about the strong community among the town’s independent businesses.
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He said: “All the independent businesses look out for each other.
“When lockdown first happened and we were trying to make a go of deliveries, Nick from Terry’s had some takeaway containers that we used and Bolton’s gave us some sacks of potatoes.
“So yes, we do try and help each other out.”
On their busiest days during lockdown, Bygones was delivering over 300 meals a day and had three delivery drivers working.
Local ingredients, well cooked food, a daily range of roast dinners and a great partner are said to be Andy’s recipe for success.
His other half Vikki Holmes works the ‘magic’ in the kitchen. They also have a dedicated team working for them.
And while he admits he was “worried” at taking on the new premises, he describes it as “cleaner, brighter and better for accommodating deliveries”.
“I was worried Bygones may lose its cosiness but it’s still us and still the same service,” he said.
When asked why shoppers should use independent businesses, he replied: “We’re here for the local community, I don’t think many national chains can say that.”
Bygones Cafe is at 54 Hill Street, Wisbech. It’s open Tuesday-Friday 9am-7pm and Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm. Closed Mondays. Visit its Facebook page www.facebook.com/BygonesWisbech or call 01945 580866 for more information.
• If you are an independent trader and would like to be featured in our Shop Local campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org.