FOUR years ago, Neki Café opened its doors welcoming customers to a relaxed coffee shop serving high quality food and providing excellent customer service.

Owner Daniel Nechita wanted to open a family-run business in the heart of Knutsford serving its own blend of coffee to accompany the tasty dishes on the menu.

Here, in our latest Business of the Week feature, Daniel tells us how he achieved his hospitality dream and why they’re so grateful to their loyal customers for their support through the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

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Neki Café opened on King Street in October 2019

Neki Café opened on King Street in October 2019

What’s your full name?

Daniel Nechita

How old are you?


What’s the name of the business?

Neki Café

What’s the address?

19 King Street,


WA16 6DW

Eggs royale

Eggs royale

Are you the owner/manager?

I am the owner

How many employees do you have?

Our current team comprises of eight hard-working and dedicated employees that we are very proud of.

When did you open the café?

We opened our doors four years ago in October 2019 following a long yet enriching hospitality and catering learning journey.

The coffee shop is warm and welcoming for customers

The coffee shop is warm and welcoming for customers

Has it always been in the same location?


Are you local to the area?

Yes, my wife and I are lucky to now call Knutsford our home, where we run our business and where we raise our two beautiful children. We love being part of this community both as an independent business as well as a family.


“I teach children how to respect water and stay safe while learning to swim”

Tell me a bit about your business

Neki Café is an independent, family-run café. Many people are keen to know where its name comes from. We wanted our shop’s name to communicate that it is a family-run business, hence why naming it after our surname came naturally to us. We serve our own blend speciality coffee named ‘Knutsford blend’, freshly made breakfast and brunch as well as homemade cakes and sweet treats seven days a week.

Neki Café has its own blend of coffee

Neki Café has its own blend of coffee

Why did you decide to open your own cafe? What’s your hospitality background?

Prior to opening Neki Café, I had the chance to administrate and manage several independent coffee shops in and around south Manchester. Over the years, I developed a passion for speciality coffee and fine food, however my dream was to ultimately open my own coffee shop. This dream came true in the charming town of Knutsford.

Why this type of business?

Having an extensive hospitality background, opening my own shop felt the right thing to do.

Were you open before/during/after the Covid-19 pandemic? How did this affect your business?

Our business opened just a few months before the lockdown measures were introduced. We closed our shop for a short period of three weeks and then we reopened and stayed open for takeaway only throughout the local and national lockdowns. We had to slightly alter our menu and some of our team members had to be put on furlough. Strangely enough this period was somehow beneficial to our business as it gained popularity. People were working from home so spending a lot of time in Knutsford or in its surroundings and they started hearing about Neki Café doing takeaways. We are extremely grateful to all of our loyal customers who supported us from the beginning, especially during the pandemic. This was a key moment which made us realise how powerful and supportive the community of Knutsford truly is.

Neki Café specialises in breakfast and brunch items on the menu

Neki Café specialises in breakfast and brunch items on the menu


Piña colada and mojito inspired bakes are finger licking good

What makes your business different to others in the same area/field? What sets your business apart from your competitors?

Unlike some other businesses in the same niche, we offer table service as well as a seamless and tailored customer experience. We care deeply about our small business and we make sure that every person who steps through our doors is happy with the food and the service they receive. Our own carefully selected blend coffee quickly became our signature beverage and we are extremely honoured to say that some even call it the best coffee in Knutsford. We also focus on offering high-quality, freshly cooked, flavourful food made with locally sourced products and ingredients where possible, supporting thus other local independently run businesses. However, I believe it is worth to be mentioned here that every independent business in this town works extremely hard to keep the standards high. What I love about Knutsford is that even though there are so many cafés and coffee shops, every one of us offers something unique, we have our own customers’ niche. We absolutely love customers who go the extra mile to support all the independent, small cafés and businesses in Knutsford and who are very keen to support each and every one of us. It is truly a dream come true to operate our small, independent and family run business in the town of Knutsford and to serve the people and the community of Knutsford in every way we can.

Why do loyal clients return to your business?

We always strive to make sure our customers are happy. We have regular customers who have been supporting us from the day we opened, some of whom even became our friends. I dare to say that our coffee represents one of the main reasons why most of our regulars visit us daily. Other reasons why customers return are our excellent customer service, attention to details, the quality of our food as well as reasonable prices. The feedback and the reviews we receive speak for themselves. Customers say “it’s the best coffee in Knutsford”, “it’s like being at home” and “it’s the little touches that make the difference and the reason why we go back”.

What’s next? What do the next few months hold for you and your shop?

We have always listened to our customers’ feedback and advice and we will carry on implementing any changes needed to improve customer satisfaction. We have regular customers whom we built a close relationship with and who are not holding back from giving us constructive feedback when needed. We intend to pay close attention to their feedback in the future too, as we believe this is the key in making our business not only survive but thrive.

We are now looking forward to the Christmas period as it is one of the busiest times of the year in our shop. We love it when people and families get together to exchange cards and presents at Neki’s and we often get to meet our customers’ extended families who are visiting Knutsford. We have been decorating our shop and our windows with the seasons since we have started trading, the Christmas/winter theme being our favourite. Otherwise, we are determined to maintain our standards high, take part in the events organised by Knutsford Town Council as well as continuing to support local charity events through donations. We will continue to cherish our future awards and accomplishments and to be grateful for our community’s love and support. Our team’s hard work and commitment have been awarded on several occasions: we were named The Travellers’ Choice on Trip Advisor two years in a row, we were nominated and qualified among the finalists at England Business Awards in 2022, we were named The Best Café on the Restaurant Guru platform three years in a row and last but not least we won The Guardian’s Best of Best 2022 and we were named the best café in Knutsford. We were delighted to hear earlier this year that we had been voted and shortlisted again in the same competition and that we came in the top three. However, the ‘award’ I cherish the most is being a part or this community.