In Dartmouth there’s one café in particular that has become an institution, a favourite with locals and tourists alike and that’s Café Alf Resco. We caught up with owner, Kate Ryder, to find out about Alf’s success and what makes Dartmouth such an amazing place to live, work and holiday in.
When you started Alf Resco did you have a particular business aim in mind?
“The café was actually started by some good friends of ours. We helped them run the business for the first three years and then we took over. They enjoyed the idea of running a café but the day-today side of it really wasn’t for them. My husband and I wanted to live in Dartmouth, and back then there really weren’t any jobs here, you had to make your own work. We always wanted the café to be a social centre and a community institution, and that’s what it’s become over the years.
You’re known for being family friendly. Is that an important part of Alf Resco’s success?
“Yes, definitely. We’re family friendly because if the kids are welcome they behave well, the parents can relax and then everyone has a great time. We’re also dog-friendly as dog owners also find it hard to find establishments that welcome dogs.”
How many of your ingredients do you source from local producers?
“We work with local producers as much as possible and always have. All our bread is made in Dartmouth and our eggs are from a local farm.”
You won an award for your breakfast recently?
“Yes, we won a Home Grown Cereals Association award for our homemade granola. We make it onsite as a lighter option to a cooked breakfast. We use British oats of course and we’re really chuffed, mainly because we don’t usually go in for things like that.“
What specialities are on the menu?
“Last year we began to introduce local crab to the lunchtime menu which has been very popular.
We get all the team involved in coming up with ideas. Different age groups want different things. We’ve started doing oat-based smoothies because the generation who are in their twenties are keen on power smoothies for breakfast, and that wasn’t something we did 20 years ago!”
What do you think makes Dartmouth such a special place?
“I think it’s the fact that we are a community. We still have a local baker, a butcher a green grocer. Going to local shops encourages people to interact, chat to the owners and other shoppers. All of that breeds community.
If someone was thinking of coming to Dartmouth to stay in a holiday cottage what would be your top tips to enjoy the town?
“Definitely go to Castle Cove where they’ve rebuilt the steps, giving you a beach right in town which is lovely.
Take a trip on the paddle steamer and go up to Totnes, because you’ll get to see all kinds of amazing wildlife on the way like herons and seals.
You can go also go on kayak trips, which I’ve done. You can go out to sea or up the river depending on the weather, explore all kinds of deserted coves and beaches and enjoy a picnic.”
Experience the wonderful food and warm, relaxing atmosphere of Café Alf Resco, whilst staying in one of our 130 Dartmouth Holiday Homes.