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Whatever is going on in the world, making time for cake can only make things better.

And it's cake and positivity that are in abundance when I chatted with Christine Nicholls, who has run Kassidy's Tea Rooms in Holywell for 14 years, with husband Simon.

Christine is one of those people who looks on the bright side, sees the silver lining, but lockdown certainly tested that.

She said: "It was scary, nobody knew what we were going to do. We had the staff we were trying to pay.

"We'd got down to the last week where we'd burnt through our savings, and thought 'that's it, we're gong to have to let people go', when the furlough scheme kicked in.

"So thankfully we managed to retain everybody."

The Leader:

That 'everybody' includes Michelle Williams (chef) Sam Jones, Julia Barlow, Ellen Clarke and Ellie Pringle.

Lockdown saw Christine focus on looking after family but kept in touch with customers and staff throughout, adding: "It was really nice, everyone was so supportive of each other.

"We have recently been able to put the time and government assistance given to us due to the shut down to good use by giving the cafe a full refurbishment, so it's been a very exciting time for us.

"And we have been very happy to welcome all our lovely customers back safely.

"It's also been lovely to get the team back together again, we have a lovely group of people working for us one of whom, Sam Jones, has worked for us for over six years after joining us as a school leaver at 16 and makes the best hot chocolate in North Wales!"

The Leader:

Above: Christine Nicholls, Julia Barlow, Michelle Williams and Sam Jones.

I ask if there's a story to the café's name. And there is, a lovely and wholesome one at that.

"Simon had an old English sheepdog called Kassidy that went everywhere with him, even to work. His little baby. She passed away about a year after opening."

There have also been some memorable moments for staff over the years, as the café has taken centre stage for some filming.

Christine recalls: "Our cafe has been used to film several programs for TV including the X Factor when Richard and Adam came to their home town of Holywell, and we were the base for interviews for an item for the Welsh channel on the local history of the area."

The Leader:

But her customers are definitely at the heart of things at Kassidy's.

Christine said: "We have always tried to be flexible with our menu to ensure our customers leave happy. This has resulted in our being able to build a large group of regular customers, many of whom come in daily.

"We have always tried to get to know our customers by name and introduce them to others who may be sitting alone, in order to encourage friendship groups and this has proved very successful and it's been lovely to hear how many of them have been able to support each other through shut down."

So whether you're looking for a quality hot chocolate, friendly service or choice of top treats, Kassidy's is the perfect place to start.

Kassidy's Tea Rooms

4-6 High Street