Banbury catering couple plan to expand after awards success

Reg and Alison Howe NNL-171113-120908005
Reg and Alison Howe NNL-171113-120908005

In the past month, Banbury catering and dining chain Reg’s Café has won two major honours – and has now unveiled expansion plans.

In recent weeks the chain has won both the Good Food Awards Blue Ribbon and Food Awards England’s Best Cafe/Bistro in the South East, the latter for the third time since the company’s foundation in January 2013.

Now Reg’s Café is looking to meet demand from shoppers and offices workers as well as its core industrial estate-based customers by opening new cafés in other town centres in the region. The firm also has plans for expansion of its catering and sandwich delivery services throughout the south Midlands.

Reg’s Café co-founder Reg Howe said: “It’s been just five short years since my wife Alison and I moved our established car and van hire operations into larger premises on the Thorpe Road industrial estate and sat there wondering what to do with this very big room that came with the new building.

“It suddenly occurred to me that there was only a single burger van providing food for the whole estate and I turned to Alison and said ‘let’s open a café.’

“She thought it was a mad idea given that neither of us had a clue about operating a catering business at the time.

“What we did know, though, was this: we both loved traditional, homemade British cooking and we thought there was a gaping hole in the market in the Banbury area for our sort of food.

“So we just went ahead with opening our first café a couple of months later. It’s been a bit of a white-knuckle ride since then.”

Having developed a great local reputation for serving good, old-fashioned hot and cold food, freshly prepared and made on the premises from locally sourced produce, Reg and Alison believe the time is now right to take their business proposition to a wider market. They’re already looking at suitable premises in Banbury town centre and are considering a move into other towns in the south east too.