Wed, 24 Apr 2019
A group of ladies sit in the corner catching up after the weekend, a businessman sits at his laptop deep in conversation about a meeting and another customer relaxes with a coffee and a newspaper.
This is a typical scene in the Mug & Brew café in Thatcham, owned and run by sisters Lucy and Georgie for the last four years.
The freshly-made cakes are displayed on the counter and in the small kitchen you can see Georgie arranging flowers to display in the window.
“This is the lull after the breakfast rush,” explains Lucy. “We then get incredibly busy at lunchtime with takeaway paninis, sandwiches and drinks, then after school we get a lot of mums with their children nipping in for a teatime treat.”
Like most cafés these days, the sisters offer gluten-free options and their homemade soup is a particular favourite. “We make our food seasonal and love big holiday themes, like Christmas and Easter when we can really go to town on the cakes on offer.”
The sisters also have an alcohol licence. “Occasionally people fancy a glass of wine in the afternoon and we wanted to be able to offer it. During the hot summer, it was really popular because we could open the big glass doors and people could sit outside and in the winter we offer mulled wine.”
With 22 covers inside and the extra tables during the warmer weather outside, the café can get very busy. “We have really enjoyed the first four years of running our own business. We had to learn everything from scratch, including how to brew a good coffee!” says Georgie.
The sisters are also extremely eco-aware. “All our takeaway cups are recyclable, we have paper straws and coffee grounds are saved for compost.
We also save all the bottle tops to give to a charity who melts them down to make wellingtons.”
And where did the name Mug & Brew come from? “We used to go on holiday to Disneyland,” explains Georgie. “And noticed a café there called Beaker & Brew – we loved the name – and so adapted it for our café, so it’s thanks to Mr Disney.”
There’s nothing fairytale-like about this smart little café in Thatcham – it may have been a fantasy for the sisters to own their own café one day, but through hard work and business savvy it is now a reality.
Mug & Brew, Thatcham
29c High Street
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