Cafelicious (www.cafe-licious.co.uk) in The Brunel Centre, Swindon, has won two awards in the annual Beverage Standards Association (BSA) Awards – the Michelin stars of the coffee industry.
The cafe not only won the Best Hot Chocolate Award, but also the Five Cup Accreditation.
This means it has reached the highest level in the quality and presentation of drinks, customer service, ambience, cleanliness, menu range, training and for the first time this year, sustainability procedures.
Through these Awards, the BSA (www.beveragestandardsassociation.co.uk) has introduced a UK-wide national grading scheme in beverages from one to five cups, with five meaning “outstanding”. The general public can access coffee shops in the same way as restaurants by seeing how many coffee cups an outlet has been awarded or by seeing if they’ve won a Best Drink Award.
Owner Mandy Cook, who started Cafelicious with her husband Barry in 2008, said: “I feel elated and proud that we have received recognition for all our hard work.”
Mandy and Barry (pictured right) received an engraved plate and certificate for the Best Hot Chocolate Award and a certificate and BSA cup decals (two way window stickers) for the Five Cup Accreditation which will be displayed on the doors or windows to show the general public that the outlet is “outstanding”.
Ranald Paterson, chairman of the judges of the Beverage Standards Awards says: “The fact that Cafelicious has prospered is due to the outstanding quality of their drinks and the service they provide. Our assessors over the years have been impressed by how they always strived to do better. This year three assessors, visiting separately, commented, that the three drinks judged at Cafelicious "could not be better". “Three drinks – not just the winning Hot Chocolate.This consistently high quality, over a number of under cover assessments, helped Cafelicious gain the coveted 5 Cup accreditation.
"Staff service, comfort, hygiene and customer care were some of the other big factors which made Cafelicious so special. Their enthusiasm is infectious, they relate well to their customers.
"Why was their hot chocolate so good? The colour was right. Not pale, or worse, pinkish like some cheap products. It was dark and chocolate coloured. The taste was that of a good strong cocoa product and the correct quantity of chocolate was used to make the drink, often a fault, deliberate or otherwise. The mix was perfect, with no residue of solids in suspension. Temperature was excellent. The presentation was special. A complementary biscuit was served and the top of the hot chocolate was beautifully finished off unusually with latte/chocolate art. This is not easy!"
Mandy said: “Our winning hot chocolate is from the Kokoa Collection with four varieties of single origin chocolate available. Our coffee is hand-roasted by Rave Coffee in Cirencester, roasting in small batches to ensure it is as fresh as possible, very rarely more than two weeks old.”
A full range of food is available including baguettes, sandwiches, paninis and jacket potatoes. The top seller is the Spicy Chorizo baguette, while caramel flapjacks are also very popular.
Prior to starting their own café, Mandy was a paediatric nurse and Barry a mechanic. They started out as a franchised sandwich car as Mandy had experience in the hospitality trade early in her career while Barry worked part-time for Little Chef when he was a student.
Cafelicious, 11 Havelock Square, Town Centre, Swindon SN1 1LE. Tel: 01793 435 353