Reasons to have pride…. A new monthly blog by Creative Foundation Chief Executive Alastair Upton sharing his thoughts from the town’s artistic hub!
AS ONE of life’s simple pleasures is a great sandwich, I was made up by a fantastic chicken and thyme sandwich from Fresh and Easy I had yesterday. I’m so pleased they have reopened following their move down The Old High Street to a larger space and a terrace that opens on to Payers Park.
They will soon extend their menu from patisseries and sandwiches to fuller meals of mussels and steaks; I can’t wait. It is amazing that they have had to expand after only a year and a half of being in business.
The opening event was a great evening with the place packed. Everyone had put on their party clothes and had come out, not just for a glass of wine and a good time, but mostly to wish the owners Daryl and Philippe good luck. You could feel the goodwill coming from the crowd willing them on to make a success of their venture.
I’ve no idea what makes a successful cafe or restaurant. Everyone knows that they are very hard to run and more fail than succeed.
However, I can see from the places around Folkestone that it obviously takes really hard work, a clear idea of what you are offering the public and culinary skill. Perhaps more importantly, places need to be right for their location, and they have to become part of the town.
I’m amazed and full of admiration when I see the optimism and drive that people have to set up new businesses in the town, and let’s face it, it is not the easiest economic environment.
Enterprises pop up all the time and I’ve enjoyed the new micro pub, Firkin Alehouse in Cheriton Place, as well as Loaf Cafe in Sandgate.
The people who set up these ventures and those who continue to run all the Folkestone businesses, both new and old, are what drives the town on and make it a great place to live. We need them and need them to succeed, so as they say, we must use them or lose them.
My young son left the Fresh and Easy launch before the rather risque drag queen came on stage to do her show of songs and inappropriate jokes. I haven’t heard that much smut since I was a schoolboy myself.
She finished off, and the audience joined in, with the anthem I Am What I Am. I couldn’t help thinking Folkestone is what it is too, and has every reason to be proud.