Opening in early September, Paddington Café quickly became Belmont’s most bright and lively coffee stop.
Spawned by Molly Shalders and Tom Beattie, two hospitality pros, the space is bright, light and welcoming, taking inspiration from the warm tones of clay and earth. With a desire to serve up some of the tastiest food and drink in Belmont, and ensure the good vibes are flowing, this neighbourhood café has gone from strength to strength in just a few months.
We sat down with Molly and Tom to see how they’ve been faring since swinging open their glass door.
First up, congrats on your venture. What inspired you to open this business?
Thank you! The inspiration to have our own cafe has kind of always been there. We’ve worked in hospitality for a long time and have always said “if we had our own place..” Then finally the opportunity came calling and we just took the leap!
What encouraged you to go for it? Did you look or go to anyone for advice?
Tom was let go from his job and I was working from home so it just really put our priorities in check. Ironically, the pandemic has provided us with a real surge of energy to go after creating a life that is on our terms.
What were the challenges in opening a business during a pandemic?
The biggest challenge was definitely the niggling insecurity that we wouldn’t actually be able to open or have any customers due to COVID, however luckily enough it’s been nothing but an amazing reception from the community. The support that we have received has given us real confidence that we are on the right track.
How has the reception from locals been so far?
Again, the locals have been incredible. You really are nothing without the support of those around you and opening a business amongst such an unsure time has taught us that community is everything. We are so grateful and humbled.
What’s next for you and the business?
Our focus for the future is to nurture our product and customer service. We love being a part of Belmont and it would be amazing to see the area boom, we think that it will only continue to grow.
Lastly, we’re all about supporting local businesses and each other – if you could recommend another local business who would it be?
Yes! We are blessed with the best neighbours: Hunter Barbers, Kebabs on High, The Fixx and Archive Wine Bar. They are all absolute pros and we/Belmont are lucky to have them!
Pop by for a cuppa at shop 4/152 High Street, Belmont from 7am-4pm daily and check out Paddington on Instagram.