The Hearth Cafe
Kevin Farren and Alanna Nash have run The Hearth Café in Horsley, a small village in the west of Northumberland, for the last ten years...
Previous to this we were both in the hospitality sector working as a chef and pub manager. We had always dreamt of running our own business and when the café became available it was exactly what we had had in mind. It has gone from strength to strength and we have created a well-established business with an incredibly loyal customer base.
Our style is good, honest home-cooking using the best local ingredients we can find. The Hearth Cafe is part of The Hearth Arts Centre, an arts charity with eight artists’ studios, with workshops and classes running regularly so the whole building has a creative atmosphere and we sell a number of pieces on behalf of those artists in the café.
What happened to the business during Coronavirus?
Horsley is a very close community and The Hearth is often seen as being central to that being one of only a few places in the area where people can meet up over a coffee.
As soon as the first lockdown was announced we wanted to make sure we played our part in helping those who have supported us through the years, so we produced a leaflet and put it through every door in the village letting people know we would be offering a door-to-door grocery service using our local suppliers.
As the situation progressed, we decided to focus on a takeaway service as feedback from customers was that they still wanted to be able to get a coffee or a treat from us. It was incredibly humbling to see to how much we mean to the local community and how much they want to make sure we get through this difficult time. We have had anonymous donations which allowed us to provide afternoon teas for vulnerable and elderly people in the village. We have really got a sense of how important a place can be even when it can’t be physically open.
It has been very tough for businesses and there has been several times when we have worried about how we will survive it. We have been able to secure a Government grant which has enabled us to redecorate and ensure we are Covid-safe.
"As soon as the first lockdown was announced we wanted to make sure we played our part in helping those who have supported us through the years, so we produced a leaflet and put it through every door in the village letting people know we would be offering a door-to-door grocery service using our local suppliers."
Why is important to Shop Local?
A local business is there for its community and if you support them through the tough times, they will be there for you in the future.
There are so many excellent businesses right on your doorstep offering fantastic quality and when you spend just that little bit extra what you get back in return is worth every penny. We can’t wait to welcome people back!