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Say cheese! Café owners collect council grant

The founders of an American-themed café in the centre of Andover have collected their first £500 cash boost thanks to a £1,000 Independent Retailer Grant from Test Valley Borough Council.

Agnieszska Krol and Anna Knyzanowska set up Grilled Cheese Café Ltd in The Mall, Bridge Street in December last year. The pair have known each other since childhood and got the idea of an American-themed eatery from Agnieszska’s US partner.

Formerly a Chinese takeaway, the space now has tables for customers to eat in, on top of the takeaway service that was already provided.

Anna said: “Everything seems to have gone to plan so far and both of us are really enjoying it too. There’s still plenty more to come but one thing is for sure – we wouldn’t have had such a great start if it wasn’t for the help and guidance from Test Valley Borough Council.”

Ward councillor Rebecca Meyer, said: “Supporting businesses in Andover is so important and to see a local café with an American twist succeeding in the town is brilliant!

“I’m really pleased that the pair are enjoying it so far and I wish them luck going forward.”

Recipients of the £1,000 grant first receive £500 after three months of trading and a further £500 six months later. To be eligible for the grant, new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit which has been vacant for at least one month. Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafes.

These funds have become available to the community as a consequence of the council’s prudent investments, financial management and use of the New Homes Bonus.