NEW life is being pumped into the veins of a village café that aims to place itself at the very heart of its community.

A fresh name, look and atmosphere are on the menu for food and drink fans thanks to a quartet of friends who are getting ready to launch new eatery The Hart of Hartford, in School Lane, on Saturday.

Pete Naylor, Peter Ogden, Lowri and Paul Taylor are in the process of overhauling the former Relish café, a passion project which they hope will bring the local community and businesses together.

“We want to create a place for the people of Hartford and surrounding villages to be able to eat, drink and relax,” said Pete, who grew up in Hartford and attended Hartford High School and Sir John Deane’s College.

“Being a local myself, building a community is really important to me and the other owners. Although none of us have ever done anything like this before, it’s always been our dream.”

Northwich Guardian:

Despite all having full time careers outside of the project, Pete believes their love for venture and loyalty to the area will place them firmly in their customers’ affections.

Key to their vision is working with local food and drink companies.

“Using local suppliers is really important to us,” said Pete, whose dad is Cheshire West and Chester Councillor Sam Naylor.

“We want to support other local businesses. If we can encourage more people to shop locally then everyone wins.

“Our butcher is in Hartford, we buy wine from Sandiway and beer from Middlewich,” he said. “Our coffee is from Chester and our pies are handmade in Wilmslow. We are just finalising using a local baker as well.”

In terms of what customers can expect from the new look venue, Pete says the team wants to create a welcoming, calm and comfortable feel.

“We’re going for a much softer environment and a much more natural one, using products such as handmade wooden furniture and a large amount of plant life and foliage,” he said.

“We want to create a snug feeling in the back part of the room, leaving the front light and airy by making use of the big windows for natural light.”

Northwich Guardian:

The transition from day to night will also be an important part of the new venue.

From Monday to Thursday it will be open from 8am to 7pm, with opening hours extending on a Friday and Saturday to cater for evening meals and cocktails. It will also be open on Sundays.

“It should feel like an amazing coffee shop during the day and a bar in the evening,” said Pete. “The transition from day to night is really important to us.”

He added: “We are all very enthusiastic café and bar customers, and all know what to expect from a great venue. Our job now is to make that come to life for the people of Hartford. We are learning as we go but we just want The Hart of Hartford to be a success for the village.”