'I couldn't stop smiling': Kesgrave Kitchen named best Ipswich café
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
The owner of the Kesgrave Kitchen has said he "couldn't be more chuffed" that his café was voted the best in Ipswich by the Star readers.
The hospitality industry has had an extremely difficult past 18 months as many have had to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ipswich Star is celebrating our hospitality heroes as part of the National Hospitality Day on Saturday, September 18.
The Kesgrave Kitchen, which reopened under new management just before the first lockdown has gone from strength to strength with a new renovation and menu.
Owner Chris Sciortino said: "I could not stop smiling it is absolutely brilliant for us because started out just before the first lockdown so there has been a lot of stopping and starting getting used to new ways.
"It has been really hard but this is a nice reward for all the hard work we put in.
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"I told my family straight away who were really happy as well.
"I would just like to say thank you ever so much to the people who voted because it means so much and I couldn't be more chuffed."
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Mr Sciortino explained how him and his wife Emma Sciortino managed to cope with the government lockdown.
"Initially we closed down for the first lockdown which allowed us to carry out the renovation we previously planned but it was made a lot harder because of the lockdown," he said.
He said they ran as a takeaway during later lockdowns, then opened with outside dining.
"We had to adapt quite a bit and we added the outside seating which worked quite well but on rainy days they became a bit of a right off.
"We are still getting there and learning but it is so nice to get this recognition for the business."
Mr Sciortino admitted that it has always been one of his dreams to open up his own business.
"Me and my wife have worked in hospitality for quite a while and it was always something we always thought we loved to do.
"It is a lot of hard work and probably more than most would expect but to be rewarded like this makes it all worth while."