My name is Francis Blakey, owner of Blakey’s Cafe and Bistro.
I’ve always had an interest in cooking from a young age, working in catering for 18 years has allowed me to see all aspects of the industry. Whilst having a conversation with my wife, Vicki, one night I said, “let’s get our own place”. After a few weeks of pestering her, we finally found our little shop. It was a big step leaving cheffing after so long, but I wanted to be able to be more active in my boys’ lives and dreamt of having the ‘family business’.
We opened our doors on the 30th October 2018, hitting the ground running.
Don’t get me wrong it’s been hard work, having it ups and downs but we persevered and are still going strong. We’ve tried to cater our menu to everyone’s needs and dietary requirements.
I’m a massive believer that customers should get what they pay for, that’s why our menu prices haven’t gone up since we opened our doors, offering a good price for delicious homemade food.
Every Christmas, since we opened, we have done a Community Lunch of three courses for the very reasonable price of £8.95 with free delivery.
On Christmas Day, after watching my boys open presents, I would nip to the shop to make bacon sarnies and deliver them to Shotley Bridge Hospital and our local fire station as a small thank you, for all their hard work.
When the pandemic hit, it was a shock to all of us and unfortunately like everyone else we has to close our doors, which was very heart breaking, we tried to supply our customers the best we could with everyday essentials but we had to stop due to the increased risk. They were very understanding, and kept telling me “you should be at home with your family, don’t worry about us”. Our customers are our family, without them there would be no us!!
Gradually, we have reopened our doors and know we have a long way to go to return to normal. Since we reopened, we have become proud sponsors of Medomsley Cricket Club, which is ran by a great group of lads.