Steve & Sandra from M&Co Cafe Take Over Spoon

Spoon Cafe on Duke Street opened yesterday (Monday) with new owners, Steve and Sandra Cunningham at the helm who have been forced to close their Smiley Cafe in M&Co on Bell Street due to the company going into administration.

Steve said, “M&Co notified us in December that they were going into administration and that we had until probably April.  We wanted to find a new location and started looking but couldn’t find anything. We knew we wanted our own shop after two closures of our businesses – M&Co and Bondia Cafe at LA Fitness.  We decided to go on holiday in January and then I got a call late on the Friday from John from Simmons and Sons saying I might have found something for you.  He then mentioned Spoon and I couldn’t believe it.  I said of course I would be interested so Paul (Cindy’s husband) contacted me and we had several meetings at their house.  They wanted to carry on the legacy of Spoon but now want to travel the world.  After couple of months of negotiating we signed in March.”

Steve and Sandra opened the Smiley Cafe in M&Co Henley in 2016 along with one in M&Co in Chesham which is open until 14 April.

Spoon was opened by Cindy Gillett in 2016 after her and husband bought the old Hubbledays cook shop units.  Cindy said, “I’m hugely proud of what Spoon has become. It has been a labour of love. But after a whole lot of thought, I decided quite simply, that I wanted more free time and less responsibility. Steve and Sandra coincidentally were about to lose their premises due to M & Co closing its doors. We met and felt they were the right people to take over my coffee shop and they in turn were up for the challenge of running Spoon. They plan to continue to keep Spoon as it is with the same offering and retaining most of the staff.   I was also in the shop (yesterday) and it was a very exciting day for all involved, with our regular customers and some new faces who came in to support Steve and Sandra.”

Sandra said, “Ideally it would have been better to properly close down M&Co before taking over here but Steve will be running the one in Chesham until it closes.  I closed this one early because they wanted us to take over from the beginning of the month.  So there was no extra time and no time to redecorate or do a deep clean.  We’ve just been thrown into it today.  We’re planning to keep the Spoon menu with a few new additions of my fruit and cheese scones which I make myself and jacket potatoes as my customers from M&Co absolutely love them and freshly made soup.  We are keeping staff from here and M&Co Henley including Hannah the Manager and Chef Graham. Some of the part-timers may have less hours.”

“Today has been really emotional, exciting, extremely busy – more than we expected with lots of M&Co customers this morning and lots of people visiting for Easter.  We think we’ve had between 300-400 people in today.  It’s been non-stop.”

Plans for the future include restarting the Friday night supper clubs from May with their alcohol licence, redecoration in stages and updating the outside eating area plus they are thinking about introducing roast dinners on Sunday.

We wish Steve and Sandra the best of luck with their venture.

 

 

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