How a hard-working café owner in Harborough has reinventing herself in the face of Covid-19
Natalie O’Flynn is toiling all hours that come along as she juggles running her successful business alongside bringing up two young children
A café owner in Market Harborough is cooking on gas as she rapidly reinvents herself in the face of Covid-19.
Natalie O’Flynn, 31, is toiling all hours that come along as she juggles running her successful business alongside bringing up two young children.
And it’s full speed ahead as Natalie, who set up Milo’s Café in 2011, told the Harborough Mail: “I’m working my socks off but we’re getting there!
“I’m being forced to adapt and adopt all the time but we’ll charge through this tough tough time and come out the other end even stronger.”
Market Harborough born and bred, she opened Milo’s Café on Bennett’s Place off the High Street after leaving university.
“I was just 21 but it took off and has become very popular over the years.
“We had to close for two to three months when the lockdown was enforced,” said Natalie, who lives in Market Harborough.
“That got me thinking and we are having to diversify fast and explore so many other avenues to keep going and stay afloat.”
The mum-of-two has used her £10,000 Government grant to buy an eye-catching purple van.
“I’m very grateful to the owners of the Angel hotel on the High Street – they’ve thrown us a genuine lifeline.
“They are allowing us to use their outside space during July and August to park our van and it’s been very well received by local people,” said Natalie.
“We sell barista coffee, ice cream and ice cream sandwiches and people are loving it.
“And it’s much easier to manage for social distancing being outdoors.
“I’ve also pulled in favours from a local law firm to allow us to store it, a customer to get it mechanically sound and a campervan conversion business that got it ready for action.
“Our café is still very much open seven days a week and people are continuing to come in.
“I’m also renting a high end, brand spanking new indoor space which will be brilliant for meetings and functions.
“On top of that I’ve been busy baking a lovely wedding cake over the last couple of days.
“And we’ve got a little girl of four and an 18-month-old baby boy so it’s hand on 24 hours a day!”
Branching out still further, Natalie is now also offering takeout afternoon tea boxes, picnic boxes and cakes.
“We have extended our opening hours.
“We will also be taking part in the Government’s ‘eat out to help out’ scheme in August,” said the pumped-up entrepreneur.
“So I’d encourage everyone to come along to see us, pop in and enjoy our fantastic food and drink.
“It’s been a challenging time.
“But after being here for nine years we are determined that we will put our best foot forward and continue to get stronger and stronger.”
To find out more, check out Milo’s Café on their website here: https://www.miloscafe.co.uk/