‘Community spirited’ cafe at the heart of Northampton town centre celebrates six years open

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“It’s been a fantastic year for us. Business has improved immensely”

A “community spirited” cafe at the heart of Northampton town centre is soon to celebrate six years open, and continues to go from strength to strength.

Matchbox Cafe, located in Wellington House, Abington Street, was founded by Bing Wan in April 2018.

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As an experienced chef of three decades, who has worked in all kinds of food establishments including the town centre’s former Chicago Rock Cafe, Bing took on a new challenge with Matchbox.

Matchbox Cafe, located in Wellington House, Abington Street, was founded by Bing Wan in April 2018.Matchbox Cafe, located in Wellington House, Abington Street, was founded by Bing Wan in April 2018.
Matchbox Cafe, located in Wellington House, Abington Street, was founded by Bing Wan in April 2018.

The owner’s love for food was nurtured from an early age, with his parents having owned a takeaway, and he puts that experience to good use at the cafe.

“There wasn’t really a right time,” Bing previously told the Chronicle & Echo, when asked why 2018 was the right time to open the cafe.

“The opportunity presented itself to have a business in the town centre, and it took a while to find the right set up and location.”

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The quirky and homely cafe has an open kitchen to allow staff to engage with customers who want to chat – and this has enabled Bing and his team to build bonds with loyal visitors.

The cafe will celebrate its sixth anniversary in Northampton town centre this Saturday (April 13).The cafe will celebrate its sixth anniversary in Northampton town centre this Saturday (April 13).
The cafe will celebrate its sixth anniversary in Northampton town centre this Saturday (April 13).

Approaching Matchbox Cafe’s sixth anniversary on Saturday (April 13), Bing said: “It’s amazing. We’ve increased in business and footfall, and progressed a lot better than expected this year. We’re amazed.”

When asked what factors he believes have contributed to the success of the venue, the owner said the “community feel and support”.

Having shown a commitment to networking with as many individuals, organisations and businesses over the past six years as he could, Bing believes “community spirit” epitomises Matchbox Cafe.

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“It’s our community vibes,” said Bing. “We sit and talk to customers about whatever they want. We talk to them as much as they want to talk to us.”

The quirky and homely cafe has an open kitchen to allow staff to engage with customers who want to chat – and this has enabled Bing and his team to build bonds with loyal visitors.The quirky and homely cafe has an open kitchen to allow staff to engage with customers who want to chat – and this has enabled Bing and his team to build bonds with loyal visitors.
The quirky and homely cafe has an open kitchen to allow staff to engage with customers who want to chat – and this has enabled Bing and his team to build bonds with loyal visitors.

By providing support with mental health and wellbeing and being a listening ear, visitors feel they can enter the cafe and be authentically themselves.

Bing also shows a willingness to give customers what they want. If they want something that is not on the menu that he can easily source, Bing is happy to provide it.

The team treats customers how they would want to be treated, in the hope the cafe will continue to grow and expand.

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“It’s been a fantastic year for us,” said Bing. “Business has improved immensely. For what is usually a quiet time of year from January to March, our takings are up. It’s unheard of and I’m grateful.”