MOTHER and son Beverley and Noel Wood aim to serve up success with their new family business.
They are putting their years of experience in the catering and hospitality sector to good use with their new venture, Café 36, in the heart of Huddersfield.
They opened the café just a few weeks ago, but have already built up a regular clientele for their freshly-made traditional English fare.
And they already have plans to build on their initial success at the café in Cross Church Street – with a summer menu in the pipeline and the possibility of being involved in town centre events such as the Food and Drink Festival.
Beverley, who lives at Salendine Nook, was previously food and beverage manager at the Old Golf House, Outlane.
Noel was deputy bar manager at the Cotton Factory in King Street before embarking on the new venture.
Says Beverley: “We were both unhappy where we were working and we both decided to do something for ourselves.
“It was my husband, Gary, who spotted that the lease was up on these premises and we decided to give it a go.”
Noel adds: “I’ve always wanted to have my own business.”
The 25-year-old, who attended Salendine Nook High School, embarked on media studies at college, but lost interest in the course.
He had already worked part-time as a waiter at Nont Sarah’s, Scammonden, before leaving school and decided to make hospitality and catering his career.
He also worked as a chef in Leicester for six months to widen his experience before working as the Cotton Factory.
After leaving school, Beverley, 54, worked for an accountancy firm for 10 years before the birth of her first child. She became a stay-at-home mum, eventually raising daughter Nicola, Noel and his brother Daniel before a next-door neighbour helped her get a job in the leisure sector.
“I started out 19-and-a-half years ago as a pot washer and worked my way up the ladder,” she says.
“I moved up to night porter, then conference co-ordinator and then bar supervisor.”
Beverley and Noel both enjoy the freedom that running Café 36 gives them.
“You don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder all the time,” says Beverley. And Noel adds: “Everything we are doing is for ourselves rather than other people.
“We make the decisions and if we make a mistake, we learn from it.”
One big decision was to find a name for the establishment.
“We came up with ideas that used our names,” says Noel. “But in the end we just went with the postal address – 34-36 Cross Church Street. So Café 36 it is!”
Daughter Nicola chose the wallpaper while Beverley and Gary got the paint brushes out. Another friend provided the window graphics.
Noel and Beverley are well aware that they operate in a highly competitive sector – and are always keen to improve the service further by asking customers for their comments.
“We always ask people’s opinions and if they enjoy the food,” says Noel.