14 Jul 2020 | 11.42 am
So Sad: The Wexford Tearoom Crushed By Lockdown
Button & Spoon founder Nuala Grant pours her heart out
14 Jul 2020 | 11.42 am
Popular Wexford cafe Button & Spoon has called in liquidator Neil Hughes of Baker Tilly after the directors decided the award-winning business has no prospect of survival under social distancing strictures.
Like thousands and hospitality SMEs, operating company Button & Spoon Ltd was under-capitalised, and kept going thanks to the endeavour and perseverance of proprietor Nuala Grant and Nigel Grant (pictured).
Abridged company accounts for 2018 disclose net current liabilities of €150,000 and a year-end negative net worth of €139,000. The venture was incorporated in 2013.
In a valedictory message posted on the Button & Spoon website, Nuala Grant said she was grieving for the loss of a way of life. The message includes the following:
On the 15th March we closed our tearoom thinking that it would be for a couple of weeks while the country got the Covid-19 crisis under control. As we carefully packed the fridges with produce that would last till April, it never crossed our mind that it would never be used in our special kitchens again.
In the last six weeks Nigel and I have sat for hours on end deconstructing our business and our lives trying to find the best way forward in this new world in which we find ourselves, and we had to come to the heart-wrenching decision not to re-open our baby.
Our business was built on so much more than just what you saw when you walked through our doors. We had a significant private and corporate catering business and a wedding dessert business and these along with our tearoom were all standing on the power of close human contact.
Our tearoom was at its most wonderful when it was jammed to the rafters with happy smiling people, when the doorway was full of patiently waiting customers, chatting to one another while eagerly scanning the menu with one eye and the restaurant floor with the other. We sold happiness on a plate and in a cup, and we will carry the echo of the laughter with us forever.
Over the years we have worked with the most incredible people. We promised ourselves that we would hire people who could join our family, not necessarily the most highly skilled in the restaurant industry. People can learn how to do a job but you can’t teach personality, that is something inbuilt.
The team we had the honour to work with have been more than just staff. They are our most valued friends and family who are forever woven into the fabric of our hearts. From the youngest secondary school student to the most experienced veteran, we are immensely proud to have worked with this incredible bunch.
We have laughed, cried and mourned together. They have supported us and our children and loved our business as their own and it showed every single day in how they served and treated you, our customers. We will never adequately explain how much they mean to us, and how grateful we are for them.
We are grieving the loss of a way of life. Our children have grown up inside the walls of Button & Spoon and its family. We hope they have learned the meaning of hard work, the value of respect for the people they work with and serve, the resilience it takes to run your own business and the strength and bravery it takes to close it down.
We truly believed that if we re-opened in the current environment we would lose money every single day and that would be irresponsible to our family, ourselves and our suppliers.
Over the next number of weeks we have to go through the exceptionally difficult process of winding up our business,which is both personally and professional traumatic and we ask for everyone’s understanding as we find the best way forward to all concerned.
Our dream for Button & Spoon was to build a place that was warm, caring and personal, one that delivered love on a plate and we tried to achieved that every single day. We leave on a high and at our best and we thank you all for coming on this journey with us. Until we meet again we wish you all only the very best that life has to offer.