CAROL Gateley and Susan Roach have lost count of the number of bacon butties, bowls of soup and cups of tea served since they took over the Rendezvous café in Hyde.
But the pair definitely know how long they’ve been welcoming customers at their Clarendon Square premises.
That’s why earlier this month they blew up balloons and popped a few corks to mark 20 years since they opened the doors of their Clarendon Square establishment.
“I was made redundant and Susan was retiring from nursing so we thought we would do a venture together,” explained Carol from Stalybridge.
“I previously ran a butty van but was working full-time when I got lost my job.
“There was a lady who had the café before us so we kept the name and just added a few of our touches and extra things to the menu.
“And we’d obviously done something right because we have lots of loyal customers.”
You can sit down at one of Rendezvous’ 43 covers Monday to Saturday from 9am to 4pm, except Tuesday when the café closes an hour earlier.
“There is a good atmosphere, everyone is very friendly and in the summer, when the mall is like a greenhouse, we have full air conditioning to stay cool.”
Susan’s mum Doreen, now aged 89, did home baking for the café for more than a decade before taking well-earned retirement.
“It was a big change for us when we first took over,” explained Susan from Hyde. “It certainly was for me because I’d never work in this industry before.
“But as a district nurse I had been used to dealing with people and so engaging with customers was easy enough.
“It’s been a very entertaining 20 years working for ourselves. We have gone through the recession, come through it and we are still here.
“Other businesses have gone but we have adapted and are still going strong.
“It’s lovely, first thing in a morning, opening the door to all our regulars. We have one customer who used to come in when the previous lady ran the café.
“And there’s a 100-year-old whose family still brings her to see us.”