Tuesday, 13 January 2009

And the winner is.......


I can't believe I forgot to tell you all in my last post, especially as you were all so full of well wishes, that we actually we won the business award! Hurrah!

The awards were all organised by the Chamber of Commerce, and nominations and votes were made by the public, in various categories. We won for customer service, in joint place with a shoe shop up the road that has been open for over thirty years. The judges decided to award us joint first place because they felt that with the shoe shop being such an old business and us being so new, it would be unfair on us both to go to a 'tie break' situation.

To say we're delighted would be an under statement. I am just thrilled to bits that all of our hard work has been recognised and paid off. It's hardly an Oscar, but to me it feels like one.

I had a regular customer come in today with his boss (they work for an insurance company) asking for some advice. Basically the regular chap, Nick, had told his boss about the cafe and then found out that he also has aspirations to open a cafe/deli/coffee shop, and has been seriously looking into the lease of an empty unit in a town a good few miles away (!). Nick suggested that his boss come and talk to us to get some ideas and advice on how to go about it.

As I was chatting to Mike and telling him about how our cafe came about, what we did, recommended contacts and suppliers to him and gave him a tour, I realised just how much I love our little empire. Truly, I love it! We have fabulous customers, there is always someone to chat to and someone 'willing' to road test the latest cake. Mike asked me if I had any regrets.

"None. We're never going to be millionaires, and it will take a while to pay off the mortgage, but I wouldn't go back to sitting behind a desk for anything." The fact that he went off smiling made me feel very happy indeed. Imagine, someone asking ME for business advice! Heehee.

I promised a 'hello' to my very lovely Grandad, Auntie (sorry Christine) Uncle and cousins, Nicola Bethany and Matthew. I hadn't realised that they were regular blog readers. I shall have to watch my language and behaviour from now on. If you look very closely you may see yourselves in this photo! We all had a most enjoyable big family get together on Sunday which was organised by my Grandad. A belated Christmas gathering, if you will. We don't get to see each other very often due to logistics, but it was lovely to catch up with you all, hopefully we will see you again soon!

Hmm. Possibly not the best family photo ever taken!
This is 'Cake of the Week' Apricot and Almond. I have made two so far. Very yummy indeed. Today I have made parsnip cake. Any takers?


Moogsmum said...

Wow!! Congratulations on your fantastic award! What a lovely start to your new year :-)


The List Writer said...

You are a STAR! But we all knew that anyway :o)

Well done to all the No 9 team. The only gripe I have is that you didn't open your caff near me.

Much love, N. xxx

Rosesposes said...

Well done you deserve it. All those yummy cakes , looks like your business is thriving. I hope one day to have cake with you too x Dom

Lynn said...

Ack!! What wonderful news, Anna! CONGRATS!!!! Hand over a slice of that parsnip cake and let's celebrate! (And I promise not to use any naughty words, now that I know your granddad is reading...)

Gina said...

Congratulations on the award. Your apricot and almond cake looks absolutely delicious. My mouth is watering!

serendipitylovesnewyork said...

Well done, that is fantastic news for you, you can only keep growing now you are winners...Yay!! Claire xx

April said...

How FAB-U-LOUS for you both!!!!!

I am thrilled that things are going so well, you so deserve that award.

Can I have some apricot cake please... I'll pass on the parsnip ;-)

April xx

Devon Dumpling said...

Hurrah! Well done! x

Dragonfly said...

Congratulations! That's brilliant news and well-deserved. Onwards and upwards...
T x
PS. that cake looks scrummy

dottycookie said...

Congratulations on a very well deserved award!

I bet the parsnip cake would be very popular with the older generation - wasn't that a very wartime, Marguerite Patten kind of thing too?

Kitty said...

Woohoo! Well done on the awardage - no wonder you're pleased. I'm really chuffed for you.

That cake looks sooooo yummy.


Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

Oh Well done Anna - seems very well deserved and how nice to have your efforts recognised :-) congrats, Lesley x

driftwood said...

congrats Anna, you deserve it after all your hard work xx
that cake looks divine!

Lisa said...

Wow! Your pride for your cafe is positively glowing in every word, as well it should!
Huge congratulations to you all.
Your hard work and dedication has paid off, and in such a short amount of time.
Really thrilled for you.
Take care
Lisa x

French Knots said...

Congratulations, what wonderful news!

Ali said...

Congratulations! Though I'm not surprised. Your enthusiasm shines through from miles away and over the ether, so I'd only imagine it's impossible to miss in real life.

JuliaB said...

Well done!!! you clever girl! Congratulations!! xx

Janette said...

Fantastic news about your award. That's some great news to start the new year off isn't it.

Hope you are having fun. You must share some more of your recipes. Your ginger bread cake from last year (or was it the year before) is still a favourite in our office.

take care and keep having fun


Vintage Amethyst said...

*yay* Congratulations, that is fantastic news lovely girl!
Wow, what a great acheivement, well done.
I hope the year ahead is a fab year for No. 9.
Lots of love

mollycupcakes said...

And the award goes to NO.9 yeay!!!!
Well done sweetie, you really deserve it.
I can't wait to come back in and have another one of those yummy latte's, cake and chat. And I'm all the way down in Kent (well across really lol)
No wonder you got the award, all you're regs would of been up in arms if you hadn't.
The best little cafe in Evesham.
Lovely family photo, everyone looks like they are having a fab time.
Congratulations my sweet friend, hope to see you soon.
Big hugs,
Catherine x

Curlew Country said...

Very well deserved! All that back breaking work has paid off. Here's to many more to come.
Well done to you all!

Anonymous said...

congratulations!!! i told my dh if we are able to visit the UK, i want to come visit your shop. this is super!


prettyshabby said...

Well done! What a real boost for you to start 2009 with, that is really great news Anna x
(and if parsnip cake is anything like carrot cake, I'll be first in the queue!)

Petticoat Lane said...

That's such amazing news...'CONGRATULATIONS' to you all at cafe No.9. If you make all your customers laugh as much as you used to make me laugh then no wonder they all return.
You, Gavin and the rest of the 'crew' have really created something special there in Cleeve. Well done.
Just told Roberto your news and he's really pleased for you and has passed on his congratulations. x

Ragged Roses said...

Hip hip hooray lovely lady!!!! Well done you, congratulations, felicitations, you deserve every award coming your way. It;s going to be a good year for you...

Cowboys and Custard said...

Well Mrs.. you have not surprised me in the least.. You so deserved this accolade due to all your hard work and endless charm in the face of adversity!!
I hope that you will be wearing that tiara every day now..oh Cafe Queen!!

WELL DONE YOU!!!!!!! and Mr Garden Girl of course..


Lucy@Attic24 said...

Wow Anna, you go girl!!!!!!!!!!!
THRILLED for you, and now sporting big cheesy grin on your behalf.
Well done, you SO deserve it. Hugs to you

kristina said...

Intrigued by the parsnip cake... As you can see, I'm finally catching up on all your news! Big congratulations! Does this mean you'll be expanding and opening a Teddington branch soon :) K x