A £20,000 expansion project has helped brew up 30 per cent more business at an award-winning Mold café.
Mold Town Mayor Tim Maunders was there to officially open the new extension at Lot 11 Express, on the corner of Chester Street and High Street, after owners took over the former shoe repair shop next door and knocked through to extend the café and double its capacity.
Cafe part owner and manager Sarah Baker said she was delighted with the results and added:
“Mold is such a brilliant town to be based in. The local council and business networks work incredibly hard to support each other, to encourage people to visit for shopping and leisure activities. That was definitely a big factor in our decision to size up.”
The mayor said he was proud to see young businesses like Lot 11 Express doing so well.
“New enterprises like this are the future of our town so it’s important we do all we can to get behind them and ensure Mold’s local economy remains strong and vibrant for coming generations.”
The breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon snacks bar employs four people and is located on the busy corner of High Street and Chester Street, Mold.
Sarah, 30, of Gwersyllt, opened it in 2017 following the tried and tested recipe she created at her first cafe Lot 11 in Hill Street, Wrexham. She focuses on using local suppliers and employing local people.
Her route to success has been underpinned by the joint-owners of the Fat Boar gastro pub group, Mold, who are investors in both Lot 11 and Lot 11 Express – Rich Watkin, ex-Everton player Barry Horne and director of Hays Travel North West, Don Bircham.
They own the cafe premises which Sarah leases from them.
Last month’s expansion involved taking over and converting the former shoe repairers shop to provide room for 18 extra covers. It has taken the total number of covers up to nearly 40 at maximum capacity.
In addition it has opened out the premises with large picture windows and popular bar style seating facing outwards to give customers an unrivalled view of the High Street.
The Mayor said:
“I sometimes pop in for a coffee myself. It’s a great place to sit and get a fascinating overview of people going about their business in the heart of town.”
Sarah is thrilled with the way it has taken off, and eventually hopes to develop the Mold venture further. She is considering applying for an alcohol licence to host occasional evening events.
“The great thing about Mold is that there’s always something going on here. It’s why we open every day including Sundays. The town council events diary is buzzing. Whether it’s a music festival, the yearly food festival, a Christmas Santa Dash or the popular twice-weekly town centre market, people will come to Mold because they know it’s a hive of activity and that helps our business no end.
“The more people in town, the more customers we have and that’s definitely been the case over the last few weeks.
“Construction of our extension only recently finished but its impact has already been felt. I’d say business has increased by 30 per cent thanks to the extra table space and the bustling winter festivities programme in Mold.”
Friends Ann Hardcastle of Nercwys, and Jackie Godfrey, of Llanferres, popped in for a coffee and snack on official opening day.
Ann who was on her first visit to the cafe was impressed by its spacious interior.
“It’s a lovely spot with a good menu and the food smells delicious.”
“It’s got an amazing view of the high street and the staff are friendly and helpful which is always a plus point.”
Sarah has been in the hospitality business since working part time as a waitress aged 14. She also worked in catering while travelling in Australia.
The Lot 11 mini-chain is her first time running her own business but she has quickly earned a reputation for excellence. Lot 11 Express was Highly Commended in the Best in Wales category of the Wales Cafe Awards 2019. Its sister business was voted Best Cafe in Wrexham and a year earlier Sarah was given the honour of Rising Star in Tourism at the This Is Wrexham Tourism Awards. At the same event she secured an accolade for her commitment to using local produce.
She also has a popular Instagram account Eat North Wales with nearly 1,500 followers of her local food reviews.