Sim Bellandini has taken over the lease for the café located at The Terrace on Grantham Street in an effort to get back to his catering roots and escape from being stuck behind a desk.
“I found Café Portico by accident really!” said Sim, who previously worked at a local design agency, “I wanted a change and decided to open up a cookery school. I was enquiring about a renting a unit at The Terrace when the opportunity with the café came up and I was asked if I was interested.
“It was really a no brainer for me. To set something like this up on my own from scratch would have cost me a significant amount of money so I put together a business plan and pitched for it. The process from first thought to moving in last week has taken about a month so it’s been a quick turn around!”
Café Portico is popular for its tasty home-made lunch fare of tea and coffee, cakes and sandwiches and now Sim, who has family roots in Turin, wants to add a touch of Italy to the menu.
“I’m indulging myself really and cooking to my strengths. Pasta, salads and other hot dishes have been added to the lunch menu. We use all local suppliers and bake fresh focaccia and ciabatta bread. I also do an Italian style roast loin of pork which has proved to be very popular.”
Future plans for the café include music nights, extended opening times, Saturday opening, dinner service and even a ‘secret supper club’.
“I’ve got lots of ideas for the café,” said Sim. “Once I’ve had a little more time to settle in and add a few finishing touches to the place we can start to implement some of them and depending on the response, go from there. “
Café Portico is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm – plenty of time for you to pay a visit!