Friendly and homely cafe announced as cafe of the year winner
A cafe which likes to offer people a home from home has won The Worthing Herald Series Cafe of The Year.
Natacha and Jansen Veeren opened Coffee Me in Montague Street in January 2019.
Natacha said: “We moved over from the South of Italy as it is was my husband’s dream to open a cafe of restaurant.
“We knew we wanted to be by the sea so when we came over we looked at Brighton and Worthing.
“We felt Worthing was a town perfect for families and we wanted to create something that was more than a place to go to coffee but felt homely and a place for friends and family. In Brighton there are so many options and people are rushing about, whereas we find here people tend to go to the same places.”
The cafe was shut during the first lockdown for seven weeks, before opening for takeaway.
Natacha said: “Once we had redecorated and done all the jobs we thought, what are we going to do now? So we decided to open for take away.
“The first lockdown was good but the second has been a bit slow.”
Coffee Me makes all its food fresh and serves a range of options from breakfasts to jacket potatoes, paninis and sandwiches.
During lockdown the couple asked people to call ahead for food so that it would be ready when they arrived and they wouldn’t have to wait around for it.
The couple had lots of plans for 2020, which they are putting on hold until next year.
Natacha said: “In 2019 we wanted to get set up and this year we had lots of plans. We want to do themed nights like tapas and cocktails on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.”
The couple pride themselves on their relationships with their customers be it a regular or someone who has come in for the first time.
Natacha said: “We have people who come in on certain days or maybe once a week, and it is nice to see a familiar face.”
On coming first in the cafe of the year vote Natacha said they couldn’t believe it.
She said: “We were really surprised when we found out we had won.
“We just thought oh my as we have only been open 23 months. We had got papers to give to people but we have heard that lots of other people were sending in voting slips to, which was amazing.
“We’re so grateful to all of our lovely loyal customers. The support you’ve shown us since we first opened last year, and in particular this year, has been amazing.”
The remainder of the top ten are: 4. Bake Out, 30 Southwick Square, Southwick; 5. Bites Cafe and Kitchen, 9 Warwick Street, Worthing; 6. Dee Dee’s, 5 The Parade, Nepcote Lane, Findon; 7. Pier Road Coffee & Art, 1-6 Pier Road, Littlehampton; 8. The Durrington Cafe, Strand Parade, Worthing; 9. River Breeze, 56-57 Pier Road, Littlehampton; 10. Kerry’s Tea Room, 45 Sea Road, East Preston.
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