Cafe Licious in South Street is looking to expand, converting space above the present premises to cater for more customers.
Owners Azhda Alieva and Mehmet Dogan have submitted an application for planning permission to make use of the current storage space on the first floor of their property to build on the success of their business.
Azhda said, “We have 13 tables in the cafe at present which is OK some of the time but at lunch time – our busiest time – it’s insufficient. We’d like to make it more comfortable for everyone so people don’t feel rushed when others are waiting for a table.” The cafe employs “4 or 5 part-time staff, several of them students” who are able to work flexible hours. There are no plans to make any radical changes to the business should planning permission be granted, but there might be some “style changes decorations-wise, giving it a younger look,” Azhda added.
Azhda and Mehmet opened Cafe Licious in 2008. They met in Bournemouth in 2004 when Azhda came to England from Bulgaria to study English. Her husband is originally from Turkey but had been working in the Bournemouth area in cafes, pubs and restaurants. They met when she applied for a part-time job in a coffee shop where he was employed. “We worked in many different places in the Bournemouth/Lymington area,” Azhda explained, “during the day in coffee shops and at night in restaurants and my husband was also working in a pub. Then we decided to have a go ourselves. We looked all over the country for over a year to find the right place. Some areas were too expensive but when we looked in Somerset we found this shop. It had been a cafe before but had no installations, not even a proper coffee machine.”
The popularity of the cafe in Wellington – and the many positive reviews it attracts on Trip Adviser – led to them to open a second Cafe Licious – initially in a partnership – in Tiverton in 2010 but Azhda said there are no plans to add to the two outlets.
The couple have a 4 year old son and live in Wellington. “The town is getting bigger,” Azhda said, “but we have lots of long-time regulars in the cafe – and lots of young people too on Fridays and at the weekends. It’s really nice having the cafe because people know you and speak when they see you in the town.” Neither Azhda nor her husband has family living in the UK.
Cafe Licious is open from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 3pm on Sunday.