Family affair is crowned best spot for coffee

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A family-run coffee shop is officially Bedford’s best after readers voted it Cafe Of The Year.

Coffee Square, at Interchange Retail Park, picked up the award after nearly ten years in business, serving fresh coffee, cakes and savouries to shoppers and loyal customers.

Owner Julia Testa said she is delighted at the award.

She said: “This means everything to me. We are a local, independent, family run business. We were up against other nice shops so the fact our customers voted for us makes us feel loved.”

Everything served at Coffee Square is sourced from Bedfordshire-based suppliers.

Julia said: “Our bread is still warm when it’s delivered from the bakery in the morning with the cakes. We also have cakes made by local people who bake for us.”

She added: “People really appreciate the quality of our food and drink when they take a break from shopping. But it’s not just shoppers, some people just come for a chat. A lot of our customers are our friends now.”

Last year the shop was a runner-up in the T&C Pride In Bedfordshire awards for Service With A Smile. Julia said this is down to her staff, who love working there.

She said: “The staff have been here for years. Some of the girls have gone to university but they come back.”

During the week the shop sees Vanessa George and Rachel Ruvolo-Jones serving up the lattes while at weekends they are joined by Julia’s daughter, Georgia, her niece, Selina, and Daniella Willett.

T&C editor Olga Norford said: “Congratulations to everyone at Coffee Square. There was a huge response to the competition so it’s a fantastic achievement, particularly for an independent business.

“All credit to the team at the Coffee Square which offers a very welcome stop for refreshments when shopping at the Interchange Retail Park.”

After finding a spot for their winner’s certificate, the cafe will concentrate on its plans to add extra canopies and heaters so customers can enjoy a drink in all weathers.