With a sumptuous selection of dishes, in cool, chic surroundings, Caprice Café has been wowing the customers of Galway and beyond since it opened its doors last July. And as June comes to a conclusion, the new month marks a significant landmark for the business who won a double gold star for its organic coffee from the Guild of Fine Foods UK & Ireland.
"The first 12 months have been brilliant," says owner Vicky Casey in the stylish upstairs of the Church Lane location. "It is a great milestone to reach. It gives us something to look back on and compare and improve for our second year."
To mark the occasion, Caprice will be having a barbecue bash next Thursday July 6. "We are very excited about it," says Vicky. " There will be sticky hot chicken, barbecued lamb, angus steak burgers, all with an amazing selection of Caprice salads. We will have music, fun, and lots more. "A number of our regular customers and people who have shown Caprice a lot of support during our first year in business have already booked tickets for the evening because they know it will be great fun. There are also tickets still available for those wishing to share in the celebration."
'It has always been in my blood'
Running a business is no new concept to Vicky with entrepreneurship a family trait.
"I grew up in a family business and I married into my husband John's family business so it has always been in my blood to work for myself. John and myself had two shops which provided high end food for over a decade but I wanted a new challenge, something different, something in keeping with the style I like. I felt there was something missing in Galway, a market that was not catered for, the high end yet smart causal cafe, and that was where Caprice was born."
Reflecting over the previous 12 months, Vicky says the experience has been exciting, with Caprice hosting a number of events.
"We try to do an event every few months. It keep things interesting here and keeps the staff motivated when they see we are involving ourselves in a number of events both in Caprice and around the city. We launched the Galway Food Festival. We were the first business to have Skinny Prosecco available and of course, our Italian night was a great success where we had two specialists discussing the wine and food with the customers who attended, providing them with a few tips as well. That was a really enjoyable night. And, of course, our next big event is our birthday."
'We believe in the personal touch'
Vicky contends Caprice success is down to many factors, with the staff the cornerstone of the business.
"We want to exceed people's expectations when they come in. Caprice means a sudden change of mood and that is what we wanted to create so when people come in from Shop Street and Market Street, they are wowed from the moment they come in until they leave. We want people to feel like they come here, take time out, and relax. Even when we are busy ourselves and there is a queue at the door at the weekends, we want to create a chilled-out atmosphere.
"Our coffee is award winning. It is an organic coffee; no one else in Galway can offer it. It is a talking point for sure for customers and is part of the attraction, I believe, why people come to Caprice for a coffee and a chat with friends. But we are becoming more well known for our evenings. With summer in full swing we are extending our late evening opening hours on Wednesdays through to Saturdays for dinner. We source everything locally as much as possible because we believe in supporting Galway business and we want to serve the freshest, best quality food.
"But our staff are the foundation of Caprice. Our head chef Conan McConnell and his team care about their work. They put in a huge amount of effort and the results show that.
"Customer service is of the utmost importance to Caprice. We try to accommodate everyone's needs as much as possible. Many families come into Caprice and everyone has to be looked after from the baby or the mum who just wants a bite to eat and a coffee to take time out from their stressful days. The staff and myself like to strike up conversation with customers and build a relationship so when you come back to us, we will know your favourite wine is or what dessert you find delicious. We believe in the personal touch."
Vicky and the team at Caprice thank customers for their support over the year and look forward to seeing them at the barbecue on Thursday July 6. For information on how to purchase tickets phone 091 564781 or email [email protected].