A new business venture in the heart of Dunchurch has been declared a ‘real hit’ by the BBC’s The Restaurant Man.
The Nook on the Square was the main feature in last night’s (Wednesday) The Restaurant Man on BBC2 at 8pm.
Sisters Kate James and Alex Woodcock from Dunchurch starred in the final episode of the series which has seen presenter Russell Norman travel around the country helping six people who are opening a restaurant for the first time.
Kate said: “We’ve lived in Dunchurch for nine years and ever since we moved in there’s never been anywhere like a cafe or anywhere you can have a coffee or get a good breakfast or lunch.”
Filming began in September last year as the sisters set about transforming the downstairs Kate’s family home in the centre of the village into a restaurant.
Kate said: “I’m not sure everyone would want to give up a third of their house and let the public come in but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Kate, who also runs a marketing and design business from her home, owns the business while Alex, who was a nurse, will be running it.
Mum-of-two Alex, who gave up her career to take on the project, said: “I’m nervous because I’ve got to leave my very secure lovely job and go and do something which is the unknown.
She added: “When you start any business it’s a gamble. You never know for definite if something is going to work or not. You’ve just got to try and if you don’t try, you don’t succeed. If people didn’t try, there would be no businesses anywhere, so somebody has got to take that risk at some point - why not us?”
Many parts of Dunchurch were featured in the show, which Russell described as ‘old England’, while other scenes were filmed at the farmers market in the town centre.
For inspiration, Russell took the sisters to Paris and to one of London’s poshest hotels to show them a range of profitable dishes and how to deliver the type of personalised service that has people coming back for more.
Russell was initially concerned that there wasn’t enough footfall in the village to make the restaurant busy but on opening day, customers were queuing out the door.
One week after the opening of The Nook on the Square in January, Russell made a return visit to see how Kate and Alex were getting on.
He said: “Wow. I’m so pleased to see it’s still so busy.
Kate said: “It’s been like this since we started. It’s gone so well”
Russell said that in a small village, word of mouth is ‘crucial’.
He said: “The people of Dunchurch clearly want to support Kate and Alex. It’s a real success.
“Business is booming. It’s off the chart. I had no idea it would be as busy as it is today.”
Kate said: “We hoped and dreamed it would be like this but it’s been fantastic.
“It’s brilliant. What we need to do now is these people that have come to try it out once, we need them to come back.”
At the end of the episode, Russell declared The Nook on the Square as a ‘hit’.
He added: “it’s amazing. What started out as an idea, a vision and a great business opportunity has been executed with confidence and aplomb.
“They’ve taken inspiration from so many places and they’ve created what I think is a really good restaurant. But what pleases me most is that dunchurch has voted decisively with its feet.
“The place is absolutely packed. Kate and Alex have pulled something remarkable off - I really think they’ve scored a hole in one and I couldn’t be happier.”
The 34-seater Nook on the Square serves breakfasts, lunches and afternoon treats six days a week.
Visit thenookonthesquare.co.uk for more information.