Couple who used wedding fund to open coffee shop wins Café of the Year

A cafe which opened its doors during the first lockdown has been voted Chichester Observer series Café of the Year by our readers.

Holly Wadey and Sam Silverston opened H&S Coffee in Cathedral Courtyard, off South Street, Chichester on March 23.

Holly said: “Considering we opened the shop in the worst time humanly possible it hasn’t been that bad.”

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During the first lockdown business started slow but picked up when people discovered they were open for takeaways.

Sam and Holly Picture: Steve Mann Media

She said: “We seemed to be the only coffee shop in town with all the chains having to close. The support was amazing. After lockdown ended and chains slowly opened we started to take a dip in takings but again, once people realised what our coffee tasted like, it was hard for them to stop coming in.”

The couple used their wedding fund to set up the business.

“We did it in a short amount of time so there was a lot of pressure to make it work,” Holly said.

“Hopefully we will still get married, who knows with the lockdowns at the moment.

Picture: Steve Mann Media

“But myself and Sam have just found out we are expecting a tiny little barista to add to our team, due in May.”

The couple say they have found the second lockdown ‘extremely hard’.

Holly said: “The weather isn’t the same, the footfall in Chichester has dropped dramatically but we do appreciate our regulars, working or not, popping in and still supporting us as a takeaway.”

During the lockdown, which came into force on November 5, they have been open for takeaway only, and are offering deals on its social media channels.

All year round they offer 20 per cent NHS discount with valid ID and 10 per cent student discount with valid ID.

Holly said: “If you bring your own travel cup, mug from home, whatever, it is ten per cent off too.”

Talking about winning Café of the Year Holly said: “We would love to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in the shop.

“Family, friends and our regular customers, so so many people have been there for us through thick and thin, including the Southcoast Bikers who have shown their support from the start.

“My family has helped financially and it wouldn’t have be possible without them.”

Runners-up in the Chichester Observer Series Café of the Year were Luckes in North Street, Chichester in second place and Garton’s Coffee House in Market Square, Midhurst in third place.

For more information visit facebook.com/hscoffeechi or @hscoffeechi on Instagram.

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