December 23, 2015 by Vic North
Nearly a month since we opened the doors to the café onto Newport, and Christmas is nearly upon us.
Drawing up the festive opening hours offered a brief opportunity to reflect on the incredible journey the last few months have taken me on – a journey that has many miles left in it but has definitely started well.
A dream made reality is not something everyone experiences. It’s been a full on rollercoaster from the sublime – selecting coffee, preparing menus, bringing together the team – to the less so – in the form of all the necessary administration that goes with running a business of this type from environmental health to employer form filling. Underlying it all, though, is the conviction that this is the culmination of the last 5 years. And it feels great. We’re getting wonderful feedback on the food and the vibe in the café fits. This is something I was keen to foster: welcoming, laidback, expectations of great dishes fulfilled and visitors leaving warmed from the inside and with smiles on their faces, ready to face the day and the reality of the dreadful December weather.
The distance has so far been covered with the support and help of many: from Duncan and Jonathon who worked so hard to create the special space that the café occupies, Anne who tweaked the logos, Erica who created the eye-catching signage, Tom and Jen who provided advice on menus, equipment and general moral support…
My intentions to work with other local businesses are growing wings and starting to fly: the local butcher supplies us with fantastic meat for our warming casseroles and we stock beautiful fresh flowers, hand tied from organic grower Emma Powell.
At the coalface, my team in the café, led by super talented chef Jasmin Giles, have worked fantastically hard to produce and serve the dishes that are proving to be just what the doctor ordered. The weather hasn’t been kind, and our tasty soups and heartening hotpots have been going down a treat, a celebration of great taste and of cooking from scratch.
This will be something we’ll take with us in the New Year as we look forward to welcoming the Spring and Summer with fresh, zingy salads and picnic fare fit for the Pembrokeshire beaches.
My thanks to everyone who’s supported the business – from my days in Cardigan market, the workshops and Cookery School and now the Café Deli. We have big plans for 2016 with the expansion of the café and the relocation of the cookery school – but there will always be time for a great cup of coffee and a slice of homemade cake!
Happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2016!