Click goes the lock on the front door, beep sends the alarm off to sleep, flick the oven, coffee machine, panini and hot plate switch to on, power up the till and set the room temperature and press the radio into life.
Now it’s time to get cooking, get the locally sourced produce ready; chop the potatoes, whisk the eggs, roll the sausage meat, boil the broccoli, beat the batter and put the chicken into the oven. Check the time, five minutes to go and we will be open, another busy day is ahead of us. It’s Thursday, so that means our older people’s lunch club will be running, as well as our regular and new customers coming in.
It’s always entertaining cooking and serving the older people, they know what they like to eat and they are not afraid to tell me! The conversations I have had…….well that’s for another blog, but the banter between us, means they are comfortable with me and for many coming to the club it is a day out for them, they get to see their friends too, catch up and have a tasty meal and a pudding all for the price £5.
Whilst the lunch club is running some of our regulars from the building site and offices are coming over, we know what they want before they even say it, and a friendly smile will greet them before we take their order.
A new customer comes in and over the making of a cappuccino and cooing over her young baby, We are able to signpost her to the Children’s Centre across the road where mum and baby can join the baby groups they have running. Other customers open up about what it’s been like during the lockdowns, and being that listening ear is as important as the coffee and the freshly prepared dishes we make.
I suppose this is what makes the café different, from the outside it looks like a café but from the inside its more than a café, it’s a community space, open to all, where you are greeted with a friendly smile, good humour, words of encouragement and a chance to meet and make new friends.
Quick glance at the clock, tells me it’s time to wind down, knives, whisks, pots and pans, plates, cups and cutlery are washed and put away. Click goes the off switch on the till, oven, panini machine and hot plate, the radio is silenced and the alarm goes back on, the final click is the lock on the front door, telling me the busy day is over. Who will we meet in the café tomorrow? Who knows, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
visit our Quaggy Cafe page.