Published: 11:01, 22 February 2021
| Updated: 07:28, 23 February 2021
Final preparations are under way as new business owners prepare to open a bistro today.
Danielle and Dan Bullard will welcome the first customers to Cafe Grace this morning, opening in Ashford's Victoria Road.
The eatery will offer a wide range of cakes, omelettes, jacket potatoes and paninis, as well as hot food throughout the day.
Hoping to support Ashford businesses, Cafe Grace will be getting loaves and rolls ofbread delivered fresh every morning from Davies Family Bakery, an independent bakery in nearby Beaver Road.
The bistro is named after the couple's daughter, and is being launched on the back of Danielle's years of experience working in cafes.
Throughout the opening day, customers will get a free drink with every food purchase.
Opening times are 7am to 4pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 3pm on Sundays.
Café Grace is sited opposite the Curious Brewery - a business seen as key in enticing customers and business owners to the Victoria Road area.
So it came as a blow when parent company Chapel Down announced earlier this month that it would be dropping the drinks label and its specially built home.
The announcement came less than two years since the Victoria Road brewery opened for the first time, with the company having been impacted by the pandemic and the resulting closure of pubs.
About 90% of its beer and cider was sold to pubs, causing financial frustration for Chapel Down.
Fortunately the Curious Brewery brand was transferred to private equity firm Risk Capital Partners without any job losses.
This will come as positive news to the Bullards, who hope that they can attract customers who work near to Cafe Grace.
Earlier, 30-year-old Danielle said: “We feel we’re in a great location, as we have new flats, a hotel and the ‘Ashford Shard’ being built right next door, as well as people going to Ashford International.
"We’ve been interviewing potential employees, and will hopefully have about seven staff working in the bistro at any one time when we’re fully operational.”
Once lockdown measures have eased, the bistro will have capacity for 50 indoor diners and up to 30 outdoors.