Putting quality first - that’s what Tony Setchfield reckons helped his Honey Bee’s cafe win the Peterborough Telegraph Cafe of the Year award for 2018.
After two competitive rounds of voting from PT readers the family run cafe on Paston Lane, Walton, came out on top - pipping the city centre’s Nata Lisboa (second) and Werrington village’s At Last Tearooms (third) to the title.
“Winning this award is just brilliant,” said Tony, who runs the place with wife Gina and granddaughter Ava.
“It is hard work being in this business and this is a great reward for the effort we put in. I don’t think people realise how much hard work goes on behind the scenes.”
Honey Bee’s (it was named after one of his granddaughters (Honey Bea) has only been open two years but Tony says his quality-first attitude to business has helped build up a loyal customer base - and ultimately it is his customers voting that clinched it.
“From day one, the business plan was to only put quality food on our customers’ plates - we don’t skimp or buy cheap ingredients,” he said.
“It has to be the best. Our customers know that and clearly like what we serve, and that is why they keep coming back and how we have built up our business.
“We have people from all over the country coming here to eat because they are in the area and have heard about us. It is unbelievable really.
“We have even landed some big contracts because of recommendations. Before Christmas we were helping feed all the Amazon workers, delivering 600 cooked sausages every morning before 8am.
“Winning this award helps make all the hard work and long hours worth it.”
Helder Alves, manager of runner-up Nata Lisboa in Midgate, said he was grateful for the hard work done by his staff, winning over customers, and all those who voted for the establishment.
“It is very good result I am really pleased,” he said.
Marie Mitchell runs the third-placed At Last Tearooms, another fledgling business that only opened in 2017, with husband David, and was happy to have placed highly.
“We have built up a loyal following in less that two years - 80 per cent of our customers are regulars who come back because they like what we do - whether it is the decor, the food or the drinks and that is what is really important,” she said. “I am sure lots of them voted for us.”