‘It’s a relief that we’re still here along with so many other family businesses’

Paul Ashby, co-owner of Bogota Coffee Company in The Hub MK, reflects on a whirlwind year and looks ahead to a brighter future…

How’s business? This is a question we get asked daily by customers who have a genuine interest in the matters concerning the local community.

As a small family-run coffee shop located in The Hub MK, we were immediately impacted by the pandemic. Despite this, we opted to stay open for takeaway throughout, with the exception of April and May 2020.

We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support from local residents and workers who turned out in all weathers to enjoy our flat whites and shop-made banana bread; as well as becoming an essential stop for dog walkers and cyclists on their daily exercise.

A year on since the start of the first lockdown, we’re still here and it’s a relief to see so many other family businesses locally that have survived too.

Of course, adapting was key to keeping going and refocusing on what is important, in our business and in our lives generally.

After getting our heads round things and spending some time with our families, we committed to a shop refurb, new menu, a switch to predominantly family-run suppliers and an even more dedicated approach to customer service, all of which meant on some days we were busier than we had been pre-pandemic.

We even got to the point where we needed to hire a new staff member – Santiago, the 13-year-old son of owners Andrea and Carl, escaping his bedroom for his first taste of work behind the counter.

Every one of us has learnt things about ourselves over the past year and we’ve realised the importance of social interaction, conversing with people and the part we play in people’s lives, even strangers, on a daily basis.

As you read this we hope things are progressing back to normal, with our outdoor and indoor seating increased and plans for some of our famed live music events over the summer.

Follow us on our social media pages @BogotaCoffeeCo for what we’re doing for the rest of this exciting year and thank you to everyone that has shown such tremendous support throughout!

Bogota Coffee Company is located at 4 Rillaton Walk, The Hub, Milton Keynes, MK92FZ. Follow them on social media @BogotaCoffeeCo for their latest updates and live music events.

Pop in to Bogota to enjoy some of the best coffee in MK and pick up a glossy copy of the latest Celebrate:MK magazine.

This feature was published in the June and July 2021 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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