|Francini Cafe, Worcester|
A FAMILY from Colombia has transformed a run-down former Worcester pub with a splash of colour, a warm welcome and the enticing aromas of freshly brewed coffee from their own farm.
Francini Cafe de Colombia on the corner of Angel Place and The Butts, which was previously the Angel Hotel and the Five Ways Hotel, opened a month ago after a major facelift.
Francini Osorio and his wife Sandra designed the interior themselves and did much of the work too – creating a coffee shop with a difference. All the furnishings are different and the couple have recycled and painted wooden pallets to use as decoration in the traditional Colombian farmhouse style, as well as for some of the seating.
Francini, who emigrated to England from Colombia 25 years ago, comes from a family of coffee farmers and also owns a small coffee farm himself. He decided he wanted to make a fresh start outside Colombia and, unlike most South American migrants who head for the USA, he decided to come to England.
He works as a manager for Festival of Food – a company organising exhibits at major shows across the country including the Badminton horse Trials, The Royal Three Counties and Chatsworth Country Fair – and within the exhibitions he also runs his own coffee stands.
Francini is passionate about Colombian coffee and it shows in his products, which prove very popular wherever he goes.
He said: “Throughout the years people asked me if I would set up a coffee shop. I was living in Bedford but I didn’t think it was the right place for me to open a coffee shop.”
Francini added that he knew the owner of the former Angel pub in Worcester who asked him to take a look at it while he was working at the Malvern Autumn Garden and Country Show.
The couple’s first reaction when faced with the rundown interior of the former pub was one of horror but Francini said he could see it had potential and that they could put their own unique mark on the building to create the type of coffee shop they wanted to run.
They left Bedford two years ago and moved to Worcester but their plans did not go completely smoothly and they had to stop working on the project when they ran out of money.
Reluctantly Francini handed back the keys to the owner, who did not find another occupier but eventually gave them back to the couple so they could finish what they started.
Inside the coffee shop is bright and inviting- reflecting the colourful nature of Colombia. Roasted and unroasted coffee beans are used as decoration and there is a friendly relaxed atmosphere.
Both Francini and Sandra run the shop while Sandra’s son Santiago works there too. It’s a real family affair.
The selection of coffees includes three unique recipes which Francini has created as well as the usual range of expressos, cappuccinos, mochas and others.
There are options for non coffee drinkers too as well as a range of light meals including pizzas, salads and olive breads with a range of extras like mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and olive oil to smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes, Philadelphia and lettuce.
“One customer said she felt like she was on holiday in a different country when she came in,” added Francini. “A lot of people take pictures when they come in. We are really happy.”
Source : Worcester News