THE owner of a Barton coffee shop has spoken of her surprise after it was awarded the title of ‘Happiest Atmosphere’ at a Staffordshire awards ceremony.
The Apple Tree Coffee Shop and Delicatessen at the marina in Barton under Needwood scooped the prize at the Taste of Staffordshire Good Food Awards. It received the highest marks from mystery judges after inspected a number of cafes and restaurants across the county.
Owner Esther Howes said that nobody at the coffee shop was aware it was in line to win the award.
She told the Mail: “It came completely out of the blue. We weren’t expecting it at all. We usually go to the Taste of Staffordshire Good Food awards anyway, but we had no idea we’d be going up to receive the prize.”
She added that the shop has always tried to place emphasis on the good service it provides to customers since it first opened, with staff being given regular training sessions.
Mrs Howes added: “My husband and I been to other coffee shops and noticed that unfriendly and unhelpful staff can sometimes affect the atmosphere inside.”
“We have a lot of regular customers come in and see us. Some of them come in twice, even three times a day. They know our staff by name and likewise our staff have come to know them and always offer a friendly service.”
Judges stated that it is more than just food that compromises an enjoyable and memorable meal and wanted to honour an establishment where staff contributed towards a positive and happy environment.
Manageress Nicola Clappison said: “We are thrilled and delighted to have been given this fantastic award which recognises how hard we all work to make every customer happy.
“It is always our mission, and this award shows that a smile does go a long way.”