Family-run cafe plans to go 'head-to-head' with restaurant chain in Northampton

Mrs Topping (middle) surrounded by family.
Mrs Topping (middle) surrounded by family.

An independent cafe is planning to launch a new concept for evening times in Northampton, offering foodies the chance to hand-pick ingredients and make a "bespoke meal".

As part of a menu re-think, Caffé Morandi of Gold Street, is offering customers the chance to design their own meals for a set price of £9.95, as opposed to choosing an option off a menu.

This idea comes after the opening of chain restaurant, Turtle Bay, which the smaller eatery claims is "taking the monopoly of business" in the town centre.

"We had to come up with something different, we couldn't offer customers the same old menu. This way they can have what they want made fresh while they wait," owner, Charmi Topping said.

Nephew, Sanjee said since Turtle Bay opened he has noticed how quiet his aunt's cafe has been at lunchtime, but he says he is generally happy with the footfall in the area.

"We have no problem with Turtle Bay, the staff come across and get coffee from us, but I want people to know we are here as well," he said.

Caffé Morandi, run by Charmi Topping for five years, has been trialling the new concept for two weeks and will officially launch the new idea on Friday and Saturday nights, starting from this weekend, from 6pm until late.

Mrs Topping took inspiration from her family after her son told her to prepare separate meals, similar to what she does at home, in the restaurant.