Family café has recipe for success

KEEPING food in the family is proving the recipe for business success at a new South Tyneside eatery.

Riley’s Café recently opened in Stanhope Parade, South Shields, serving a wide range of food, from salads to baked potatoes to chilli con carne.

Owner Bonnita Riley is running the business with daughter, Natalie Riley, working as the manager, joined by assistant Margaret Mesie.

With help from local business organisation Tedco, which provided start-up support, the café is attracting more new customers all the time.

Mrs Riley, 49, who was previously manager of the Marie Curie charity shop in King Street, South Shields, said: “After years working in shops and as a medical receptionist, I thought it was time I started working for myself.

“About 20 years ago, I ran a catering service in Westoe Road, South Shields, but I was bringing up the children at the time, and I had to give it up.

“But I’ve always wanted to run a business like this, and the spot we have in Stanhope Parade is ideal.

“Trade is getting better all the time, and we would like to take on more staff, as the business develops.”

Mrs Riley added that she has had “great support” from family and friends, plus ICE Print and Design, based at Tedco, which helped with the decoration of the premises.

“It took us five weeks to get the café in shape and my family helped get the place looking right. We completely redecorated the whole place, from floor to ceiling.

“Apart from things like sandwiches and salad boxes, baked potatoes and healthy options, we also supply catering to business and that is something we are looking to expand.”

Riley’s Café is open Monday to Saturday, from 8.30am until 4pm. For details, call 4477 500.

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