Monday, 30 June 2014

Open Affair

Back in April this blog reported the imminent opening of Cafe Affair next to the Post Office in North Cheam. While 'imminent' turned out to be a bit wishful, the doors were finally opened last Monday (23rd June) and Cafe Affair greeted the people of North Cheam (and Worcester Park who like a walk) with aplomb.

The cafe is run by Paul (pictured) and his wife Margaritta (not in this shot) and is the public front for a vast catering empire! Well ok perhaps not an empire, however Paul and Margaritta's main business is Tasty Affair, a catering business which is also run out of the premises here. They were based in Wimbledon but have moved to North Cheam.

Given that several similar businesses have opened recently in the area - particularly in Central Road and closed again quite soon after, I asked Paul how this would be any different. He told the blog:
"We are very confident we can deliver something to the area that is currently lacking."
He also believes they can keep the doors open here no mater what because it is being supported by the catering side of the business. That said, he is quite pleased with the amount of custom that has come through the door since they opened last week. They are just getting things ticking over at the moment and are looking to have a proper grand opening in a few weeks time.

I have to say I do rather like the vintage 1920s d├ęcor. There is a comfortable feel about the place and I was impressed with the cake (I had the chocolate) which was much better than most in places like this and much larger than I could eat in one go (and that is saying something.) The cakes are apparently hand made by a local chap. The cappuccino was not startlingly great was but was no worse than Costa or any of those other coffee chains. (Having an Italian Mrs WP and also having grown up in Australia my cappuccino expectations are admittedly unreasonable high and not often met in this country.)

As well as numerous drinks and snacks the current menu boasts salads, breakfasts, paninis and hot lunches. Paul who rather likes the continental style of eating is looking at applying for a licence to sell beer and wine so people can enjoy a glass or two with their meal as they eat out at the pavement tables. He is also looking to introduce a tapas style bistro in the evenings but that won't happen for a bit.

I am always enthusiastic about new businesses starting locally and am keen to see them do well, however in addition to my hopeful good wishes, I feel that Cafe Affair has the ingredients for a sustainable business that can hopefully serve the local community for many years. I would certainly recommend giving them a try.