There could never be a better time to support our small businesses than today. Many have been forced closed for a long time during the two lockdown periods and lost vital sales on the lead up to Christmas, while still having to pay their overheads.
The hospitality trade has especially been hit hard by the lockdown, so yesterday I took the opportunity to pop in to Cafe No 11 on London Road.
I've been really impressed by Cafe No 11 after they contacted me when I was promoting a 'pay it forward' scheme and have been interested in their story ever since.
Speaking with Dave the owner, I was actually amazed at the way in which he has grown his business and now employs no less than fifteen members of staff, all of who live locally. They source all their ingredients locally using local businesses and they have even teamed up with other local businesses which complement their own, to hold events. Dave has big plans for Cafe No 11 and it's future and you can tell he has a real passion for the quality of food they serve and the level of service they offer. I'm pretty sure he had better things to do than speak to me but he spared me the time to tell me about future menu plans for the cafe/restaurant and how he's really working hard on building the brand. This business is really heading somewhere and I'm 100% convinced it's in the right direction, driven by an enthusiastic owner who really knows how to look after his staff, offer a quailty product and wants to give something back to the community,
For me, this is a fine example of just one of brilliant independent small businesses we have in our town. This is the type of business we should be trying to attract to our High Street and other commercial spaces.
This is what you don't get from a large corporate - the personal touch, the passion, the excitement - this is why I'm supporting Small Businesses this Saturday.
By the way, if you've not been into Cafe No 11, then I'd advise you to try out the amazing food and drinks on offer.
It's definately a 10/10 for me