"I love this place and I haven't even bought anything yet!"
Yesterday was the first time I said the above words aloud on entering any kind of retail premises and actually meant them.
What could have caused such a spontaneous reaction??? Being allowed to retain some independence and feeling able to let someone do their actual job without having to ask them for help.
I am a simple creature and it is reasonably easy to keep me happy when I am roaming around in the wild on my own. Do not make me feel that I need to find a pack to be part of in order to enjoy whatever it is you are trying to offer me - especially if I have entered your premises on my own.
Three things got me intrigued enough to walk through the door of "Bewiched" in Kettering. Someone had mentioned it to me when I had reviewed the Costa Coffee places in Kettering for my original blog. The name was quirky enough to grab my attention. Having a bicycle with flowers on it outside the window* definitely caught my eye. (Well - I am half-Dutch.)
If there is one thing I absolutely hate it is having to ask complete strangers to read things out to me (to be honest I am not very keen on having to ask friends to read things out to me either but at least I know they won't mind doing it). The way I see it is - getting me to enter your shop, cafe, etc, is the easy bit - actually keeping me in there long enough for you to sell me your product or service is where the really hard work starts.
A large menu on a coloured background with easy to read type will definitely help you if you are in charge of a cafe. A menu large enough for me to read even though it is stuck behind the counter definitely works in your favour. In fact, that is what made me say the sentence I started this blog post with.
The cafe was also well-lit (even though it was daylight - I have walked into some cafes which made me wish I had purchased a lantern before entering during daylight hours).
Comfortable looking furniture was set out in such a way that I could navigate my way around even with a tray in my hands. The place looked like it had plenty of space inside.
When I ordered my mug of tea it was served in a large - solid - mug*. To me this indicated that my custom was actively encouraged and I was allowed to linger over my drink. I am sorry but serving me drinks (even cold ones like milkshakes and iced coffee) in a plastic container - even when I have stated I wish to stay in your premises - does not make me feel welcome. Although I am a bit puzzled as to why the milk was served in something which ressembled an old fashioned vinegar bottle which had lost its stopper.
I chose a very comfortable armchair to sit in as I drank my tea (and ate my Teacake which was served with butter and apricot jam).
What made the experience even nicer was the lightshades*. They were such a pretty pattern and left me wondering how they had been made (along with where I could get them from).
In fact, there is only one minor problem with "Bewiched" - there isn't one in Leicester yet. When I was handed my Loyalty Card I asked the man behind the counter if they could open one in Leicester.; Now I have to find a way of getting to Peterborough or Corby if I want to visit another branch. (I actually wanted to move in to the Kettering branch but I had a bus to catch.)
*I did take a photo of the bicycle, the mug, and a lightshade. If you want to see them go to the Photos Section of the website.
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