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Fenland café boss urges 'keep it local' after relocation



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From locks to flooring and even staff uniforms one Wisbech restaurant has kept it local when it came to relocating premises.

Andy Maul and his partner Vikki Holmes wanted to support their fellow business owners in and around Wisbech when they moved their Bygones Café from Little Church Street to its new home in Hill Street earlier this month.

Andy an independent town councillor has been overwhelmed by the support the new venture has had with the café filled with customers from breakfast through to tea time.

Bygones Cafe's new premises were officially opened earlier this month. (42868490)
Bygones Cafe's new premises were officially opened earlier this month. (42868490)

Bygones was in its former home for over 27 years but the couple made the decision to relocate in the midst of the pandemic after launching a delivery service during lockdown.

It proved a massive success for the pair, who had considered doing deliveries as long ago as 2010 but “never got round to it”.

Having been rushed off their feet the pair took a well earned break in July to regroup and also have chance to consider their future plans. The answer was to expand, and so they moved their popular business just around the corner to the former KFC premises.

Andy Maul and his partner Vikki Holmes have announced exciting plans to relocate their popular cafe. (42868209)
Andy Maul and his partner Vikki Holmes have announced exciting plans to relocate their popular cafe. (42868209)

They worked tirelessly for weeks to transform the premises to make it suitable for their needs with the help of local trades people and suppliers.

Andy said: “When we decided to make the move from our home of 27 years it was always our intention to ensure that we used local traders and supplies wherever possible. It is very important to me to help support the local community and as such I felt that everything, we needed doing could be sourced locally.

“We were fortunate enough to be able to do just that.”

Andy Maul and partner Vikki Holmes used all local trades people when they relocated their cafe in Wisbech. (42873582)
Andy Maul and partner Vikki Holmes used all local trades people when they relocated their cafe in Wisbech. (42873582)

As a consequence Andy and Vikki have myriad of local business people to thank for their new café.

They include: PM Refrigeration – who carried out the servicing and repairs to the air-conditioning units and walk in fridge and freezer; Mark Howat – general builder; Luke Chapman, electrician; Oakwood Flooring; A1 Signs; Danny Paynter of MDP Projects, who carried out everything from new ceilings and walls to organising sub contractors for plumbing, heating.

Andy said:”Danny was a massive help and whenever we came to a problem and believe me we had a few! He and I would get together and work out a way of getting it right. Kept me calm for most of it.”

Andy Maul and partner Vikki Holmes used all local trades people when they relocated their cafe in Wisbech. (42873584)
Andy Maul and partner Vikki Holmes used all local trades people when they relocated their cafe in Wisbech. (42873584)

Anglia Locksmith were used to change the damaged locks; while Eden Pest Control carried out a site survey and implement control measures to ensure the café remains pest free.

McIntosh’s in Norfolk Street supplied the staff T-shirts as well as the face shields and masks; with Sue Fox of Laces, Frill and Embroidery embroidering the café name on the clothing.

KJ of KJ Entertainments came up with a menu design and also raised the cafe’s Facebook profile; Billy Davies of B2 Design helped with both the pending new website and also the new till system; Royal Blue supplied and continue to supply all the quality meats; Fountain Fresh supplies all the fresh veg and fruit; while Sarah Howling carried out an end of build deep clean and keen photographer Kim Taylor kept a photo diary of all the work as well as using the Wisbech Tweet Page to keep everyone updated on progress.

Even Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue played a part providing the essential fire safety equipment.

And finally access to any business is essential and thanks to Wisbech Mobility the new Bygones Café is disabled friendly.

Andy said: “We are not sure what the future holds, who does? But one thing is for sure we will carry on doing what we do best. We are like any other business in town. Use it or lose it. It’s so easy to criticise the town at the moment but I would urge everyone to support those of us that are working hard to provide a service to the good folk of Wisbech. Think local – you will be amazed what services are available.”



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