The idea of a morning of themed play and crafts for kids may not sound that inviting but when you have a little one to occupy in a safe environment where you can get a cup of coffee, your choices aren’t that great. This is how we found ourselves at Owl Tree Cafe in Red House Farm Junior Football Club (opened by Alan Shearer no less).
The room we were in was a typical unprepossessing sports building, with white painted breeze block walls and a metal hatch in one corner, open to reveal the kitchen. The chairs were hard plastic, arranged around formica trestle tables, while the floor was scattered with toys and activities for the children to enjoy. It was all a bit utilitarian.
Despite all this the atmosphere was great. The food was excellent value and very tasty while the staff were friendly and accommodating. The person who ran the cafe was constantly wandering amongst the children , making sure they had great fun and at the end of the session she led us all in a singalong.
Businesses need buildings in which to operate. These days some more than others yet it is the people that make a business and not the building. Good buildings don’t make an ordinary business good and ordinary buildings don’t make a good business bad.
There was nothing wrong with the sports hall yet it contributed little to the ambience. The feel of the business came from its people and management. Small things such as the greeting when we came in, the friendliness of the serving staff, the regular, but not intrusive enquiring if everything was fine and the effort to ensure all the children were involved were what counted.
Businesses are built by people for people. You can have the fanciest building or the swankiest kit but if you don’t have the people and the passion for what you are doing, you have nothing.
I’m looking forward to our next visit to the Owl Tree Cafe. Next time I think I’ll have a toastie.