Winners of Café of the Year are just ‘thrilled’

Staff in the award-winning caf� at Russells Garden Centre ks1500434-2
Staff in the award-winning caf� at Russells Garden Centre ks1500434-2

RUSSELLS Coastal Garden Centre Café has been voted the Café of the Year by Observer readers.

The Birdham restaurant moved from runner-up in 2014 to winner in this year’s competition.

A delighted Rob Petsinger and his wife Caroline have managed the café for the past three years.

Rob said, “We’re thrilled, we’re really, really happy that’s worked out for us.

“We put some effort into that this year.”

In addition to homemade cakes, loose-leaf tea, and coffee, Russells Café now has a premium level lunch menu.

“We’ve expanded our selection of meals really and we offer a dinner quality meal for lunch,” Rob explained.

“It’s the homemade aspect, but more than that, we pride ourselves on the service aspect.

“The table service helps us build a great relationship with our customers.”

The café was set up by Russells Garden Centre owners Lesley and Richard Philips although it is now a separate business.

“It’s a very symbyotic relationship,” said Rob.

“We’re very, very popular and that keeps people coming in every week.”

Business is going well with ten of the 17 staff often working at once and Rob has no plans to rest easy.

He said: “Our goal would be to be in the top 10 on Trip Advisor and carrying on offering homemade fresh food from our kitchen.”

Second place was awarded to the Aldwick Beach Café in Bognor Regis, while The Exclusive Cake Shop and Vintage Tea Rooms on North Street, Chichester, came third in the competition.