It’s back to the grind – how St Helens coffee is bouncing back

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AS staff at The Daily Grind cafe proudly work through a lunchtime rush, it’s hard to believe that not long ago, like many other businesses, they were grappling with the pressures that the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on them.

Owner Diane Whalley and her dedicated team recently celebrated a record five years in business at the bustling corner cafe, formerly a stationery store, on Corporation Street in St Helens town centre.

They went out of their way to serve their customers with a wide range of fresh, homemade breakfast and lunch options, even using food delivery services such as Just Eat during the first lockdown.

Diane explained how the pandemic initially hampered the success of her growing business.

She said: “We were getting to a stage where the business was taking a turn and I was able to start collecting a salary for myself, we were completely wiped out, now it feels like we’re starting over.”

The business is building on the custom of increased footfall in the city centre, which has been affected by the closures and instructions on people working from home, which has led to a reduction in the number of people working in downtown offices.

The Daily Grind is Diane’s first business venture. She started the cafe in February 2017 and says starting the business gave her the boost she needed after going through a tough time with her mental health.

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She said: “It gave me real focus.”

Now looking to the future, Diane hopes the cafe will continue to grow and develop.

She said: “We have lots of repeat customers who we love to serve and have a dog-friendly lounge area open in the warmer months.

“We have both bad days and good days.”

The cafe is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers a wide range of soups, sandwiches and entrees to eat in or take away and even has pasture platters available to order for events.

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