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CANTINE – DOG FRIENDLY CAFE TO OPEN IN FLEET

TAKE YOUR FURRY FRIEND OUT FOR LUNCH!

NEW YEAR TREAT FOR DOG LOVERS

A new cafe is set to open its doors in Fleet…but this is a venue with a difference. Cantine is the brainchild of Dave and Ali Bullamore and as the clever name hints at (think about it!), it’s not just you who will be welcome there but your furry friends too.

Ali, who worked for British Airways for 21 years both on the ground and in the air, took voluntary redundancy last May and together with her husband Dave , who is a retired police detective, will be running Cantine as a joint partnership. In true family style, their children Georgie and Jack will also be helping out at the cafe on weekends.

Up until 2018 they had never had any dogs.  Then they got ‘Belle’, their cavachon and fell completely in love with her. Desperately wanting another dog, they then got their cacapoochon ‘Buddy’ in 2019.

Below: The Cantine Team! From left to right…Buddy, Georgie, Dave, Ali, Jack and Belle.

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After Ali left British Airways she was unsure what direction to take but had always toyed with the idea of starting a cafe and as a relatively new dog owner who was struggling to find dog friendly cafes to visit she realised there was a gap in the market. The rest as they say, is history.

Although Ali and Dave live in Frimley, they have always had a soft spot for Fleet as their daughter has danced at the Harlington centre in many festivals.  So, when the property came up at 285 Fleet Road (the old Brian Bass shop), it just felt right and they went ahead and signed the lease, working day and night to complete the refit themselves.

Below: Early days, the start of the Cantine dream with lots of work ahead!

Ali says “As we are an independent family run business, I wanted to use as many independent suppliers as we could. I found a bakery through a friend and their cakes etc are amazing, including gluten free options, they will also help with any allergies etc if needed.”

“Having never made an espresso before, Dave and I decided to go to the Winchester school of coffee for barista training.  We came out of the training completely awed by the passion roasters have for their coffee and how to make it.”

“We are also going green and plastic free in the cafe! We’re using a product which is totally compostable, so all the cups, lids, grease proof paper, stirrers ,straws,  bags all go in the food bin.  We are going really big on the green theme.”

“We’ll be offering treats for the dogs, natural products with no additives, and homemade pup-cakes.  We have a lady that home bakes dog treats and biscuits , so we will be using her as well . There will be water bowls for the dogs and we have blankets for people who would like to sit in our large outdoor seating area, which will be enclosed by barriers.”

Below: The outside area will also include a large seating area for dogs…and their owners of course!

“The menu will start small with coffees, teas, herbal teas, hot chocolate, paninis, sandwiches, cakes, pastries, brownies etc. We also have a hot dog machine, so will be offering hot dogs all day. As time goes along we want to start doing breakfast baps etc.”

“As far as the future plans, would love to get into dog birthday parties, doggie afternoon teas and socialisation sessions with therapy dogs.”

Below: Complete transformation as all the hard work starts to pay off and Cantine takes shape!

CanTine (see?…clever name!), hopes to open before the end of the month and don’t forget that address, 285 Fleet Road! We wish Ali and family lots of luck and we’re sure all you doggie lovers will be queueing up to take your pooches out for an afternoon treat or two!

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