STAFF at the newly-revamped Town Gardens Cafe were rushed off their feet when it re-opened for business at the weekend.

In fact they were so busy they had to close early on Sunday because they had run out of supplies.

Radio presenter Marie Kilford and hospitality manager Frances Tucker, who have taken over the kiosk said they had been blown away by the response of customers.

Marie said: “From as soon as we opened on Friday through to the bank holiday, it’s been extra busy and people are really happy to see it open again. We have had very long queues so thank you to everyone for being so patient with us.”

They hired three new members of staff who had all been thrown out of work due to the pandemic and after the opening they took on another two to deal with the summer demand.

Frances said: “It has been so busy which has been great. We have been non-stop since we opened, it’s been like a baptism of fire and we even had to close early on Sunday as we actually ran out of nearly everything.”

Despite a few starting hiccups, the friends said they would be doing market research to make sure they are offering what people want. They are already using local suppliers including Rays Ice Cream, Pippin Doughnuts and offering vegan options.

Frances said: “We’ve got lots of learning to do from it. We would love to do lots of other things but we’re restricted by the space, but we want to see what the park users would like. We have had such a warm reception and it’s been uplifting from a dark bleak winter.”

Marie said: “It’s such a nice time of year for the park so we’re looking forward to meeting more of Swindon and hopefully working with the community more and becoming part of it. We’ve always wanted to do this so to be in the park and be here, it’s more than we could have wished for.”

The cafe closed last month for the refurbishment. Grant McNally from ESS Group said: “It’s been a nice heritage refurb as we have never done something like this before. It’s been intricate and interesting with a bit of a challenge with the woodwork and two colours but it’s made a nice change.”

The café will be open in the summer seven days a week, from 8 am until 5 pm on the weekdays and 9 am until 5.30 pm on weekends but will change depending on the season.

South Swindon Parish Councillor Neil Hopkins said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see it reopen. Especially after the negative comments about the process we had to follow when it was put out to tender. You can see from the collection of great food and real coffee on offer that people will come and enjoy it here. I wish them every success as its success, is our success as a parish.”