Really pleased to be back blogging after a two day break! Not intentional but sometimes work gets in the way. I love to write this blog but it takes time and dedication.....dedication I have but occasionally I run out of time. So the cafe has had its biggest week EVER so far. I'm truly grateful to all my loyal customers and all the new people that discover us daily. Today I wanted to touch on behind the scenes....what it's like running your own cafe.....it's up's and down's and generally what it's like to be part of the St James's Square community!
Well the latter was easy because being part of this iconic square and it's community is sublime! Since day one we've had nothing but support from our neighbours and I hope we repay the compliment by keeping a great neighbourhood cafe....buzzing. The square residents support us on a daily basis eat in or takeaway. Sometimes they just drop in for a chat, which we love because it means we must being doing something right as neighbours. They were a bit disgruntled when we stopped doing cooked breakfast but that was a decision I made so that I could have all the food out on the counter between 8.00am and 10.30am for takeaway, as it happens is was by far one of my better decisions. The Square residents have forgiven me.....I hope!
For those of you who have never visited the cafe we provide fresh food on our countertop display. The counter is heaving with fresh produce by 10.30am but generally by 1.30pm we are sold out and I have to start prep for the next day. It's a concept I used when I had a cafe down near the beach in Coral Bay when I lived in Cyprus, I gave it a go here and thankfully it worked.
I'm doing this post in two parts because I thought I had some lovely pictures of the cafe and the square but I don't so tomorrow I have to pop into work and will quickly take some photographs. So running a cafe???? I can't begin to think why anyone would want to run a cafe/deli unless they had plenty of food knowledge and they could at least cook. I've been a professional chef for 3 decades and some days I still find it tough....You have to have a real passion and dedication and be prepared to build the reputation and grow the business over a couple of years. Even the best chefs in the world have to prove they can get customers through the door even with their immense cooking skills....it won't happen overnight. The secret as far as my business was concerned was always be professional, keep things simple, only use the best fresh produce, never be complacent, always step up your game and last but not least, always be nice....who wants to come into a miserable, unfriendly environment and pay for it. I hope I've achieved all of these attributes in my business, with the busiest week on record I think I may have cracked it.
So in part two tomorrow I will give you lots more insight into running this little cafe, recipes, food and a few of the ups and downs. I'll talk about up and coming projects which are bubbling at the moment with a couple of really exciting people. The very special evenings I host talking about health and nutrition where I invite guest speakers who have oodles of knowledge in they're particular professions. I'll talk more about the cookery demo evenings I'm planning at the cafe and divulge more on the cookery school I shall eventually set up.
Speak tomorrow! Have a fab Saturday night......X