A passion for food, energy and enthusiasm, and knowing exactly what their customers want are the secret ingredients of Mark Thompson and partner Andrea Scott’s success. The couple took over Taste, on Clumber Street just off Melton Road, two-and-a-half years ago, and it’s 30 per cent increase in turnover over the past year shows how local independent businesses can still thrive in tough economic times. “Andrea and I used to go to drink in lots of coffee shops and we thought it would be a good idea to run our own. We got a bank loan and looked to buy somewhere. Andrea did all the research, found Taste, and we’ve been here ever since.”

Mark, 49, a former full-time garden designer, says he and Andrea, 48, have taken great satisfaction from turning their coffee shop dream into reality. “When we bought it, Taste was open five-and-a-half days a week and shut at 3pm. We opened it seven-days-a-week and extended the hours. Taste was renowned for its full English breakfasts with everything piled on but they were not very nice. Now we have delicious sausages from Arnolds on Abbey Road and other locally sourced ingredients. We put the price up but people got a better quality of breakfast. We get organic vegetables from West Bridgford allotments and Tony at Burton’s Fruit and Veg on Melton Road. We’ve added things like granola, yoghurt and smoked salmon to our menu, and have got a reputation for our home made cakes, jams, chutneys and soups.”

With all staff wearing matching white shirts, ties and aprons, Taste gives off a professionalism and efficiency while retaining an equal measure of genuine warmth and charm. Mark and Andrea have also devised some great ways of retaining their regular clientele as well as generating new custom. “We have loyalty cards and do vouchers which can be bought for £10, £15 or £20 which make nice presents or gifts. Customer service is the most important thing. It’s about watching and listening to people. When we got here, Taste didn’t have a proper coffee machine. They never used to do take out coffees. We only have the best coffee and, in the week, we do so many take outs.”

Mark, who lives with Andrea in Lady Bay, believes more and more people are switching on to the benefits of shopping locally. “In nine out of ten of the shops in and around Melton Road you will be in there talking to the owner. People get fed-up with chains.”

65 Clumber Road, off Melton Road, West Bridgford

Tel: 0115 981 7817

2 Responses to “Taste”

  1. Andrew says:

    I can vouch for the change in sausages – as I was an awkward customer who explained how wonderful the breakfasts were, with the exception of the sausages!! Andrea & Mark listened and WOW the sausages were changed! They are a brilliant couple who really take a pride in the fayre that they offer and the service that they give. Delicious! Thanks!

  2. [...] for your diary in June are as follows: All at Taste off Melton Road. (we will include various locations throughout the year at other participating [...]

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