Rowan Joyce’s passion for her Isleworth cafe is matched only by the enthusiasm of her customers. The growing reputation of this local landmark attracts visitors from far and wide, drawn as much by ambience as by the blend of delicious cakes and ice creams.
The South Street Cafe offers an ever changing menu, with an impressive array of lunches and snacks. But perhaps the tour-de-force is the home-made ice cream, made with seasonal, local ingredients and cakes, freshly baked every day. It’s no wonder it’s a favourite hang-out for the sweet-toothed.
What makes Rowan’s business unique is that she gives as much attention to the community as her food. “We all want to live in communities that are warm and bright,” she says, “and so we run all sorts of groups – knitting, sewing, mindfulness & meditation, a book club, even a dad’s creche on Saturday mornings. Many customers have made new friends here and some have formed life changing relationships.”
Rowan is keen to support small business Saturday. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of every local community and it’s important to celebrate this,” she says. And her advice to budding entrepreneurs? “You must be passionate about your business to the point of obsession. Above all, you must love, respect and celebrate your customers”.
Judging from a straw poll of customers, it’s clear this love is reciprocated. Phrases like ‘out of this world’ and ‘fantastic’ tripped off the tongue of those not too busy gorging themselves to reply. It seems, that they also subscribe to Rowan’s philosophy, which is that ‘whether you are two or ninety two, ice cream makes everything better’!