Snug new home as cafe expands

Rachael Flaszczak, right, owner of The Snug, with staff Toni Beaven, Michelle Emmison and Georgia Raynor
Rachael Flaszczak, right, owner of The Snug, with staff Toni Beaven, Michelle Emmison and Georgia Raynor

A coffee shop bringing a touch of city centre living to the borough is celebrating its latest success after moving into a bigger home.

The Snug in Atherton has become so popular with residents in less than 18 months that it has had to relocate to a unit on Market Street.

“There were plenty of cafes and pubs in Atherton but no coffee shops, so we decided to make our own.”

Rachael Flaszczak

The shop was created by Rachael Flaszczak who realised her hometown did not have the sort of specialist coffee bars she enjoyed visiting when in the centre of Manchester and left behind her previous career in insurance to make The Snug a reality.

Her idea has since found favour with increasing numbers of people in Atherton with the original shop soon unable to fit in everyone who wanted to enjoy a range of coffees, home-made snacks and lunches and chat in a relaxed environment.

Opening the new venue was also a community effort as Rachael had just a fortnight to turn the unit into a coffee shop, leaving her turning to her regular clientele for help.

Rachael, 39, said: “My customers have all mucked in to help. We only had a couple of weeks to move in and couldn’t afford to run both shops at the same time so I’ve had people doing painting, plumbing, electrics work. Anyone who has offered to help I’ve taken them up on it.

“The first day was booming, it was absolutely brilliant. The unit has been empty for three years and I’ve always wanted to have it, so when it came up for rent I jumped at the chance.

“There were plenty of cafes and pubs in Atherton but no coffee shops, so we decided to make our own.

“It was completely new to me, I had worked in a few bars before but nothing like a coffee shop or restaurant. I’m really enjoying it though, it’s brilliant.

“We started in a tiny shop with just one room and now we’re here. We kept going to other coffee shops in Manchester and getting inspiration and ideas we could bring back to Atherton.”

Rachael admits the early days of getting the business off the ground were fairly difficult but customers were soon coming through the doors.

The Snug sells coffees and teas, paninis, toasties and cakes, with plans for a bigger menu to be developed in future.

Rachael also hopes to set up something of a network for Atherton-based producers, selling products such as jams and cakes made by local enthusiasts at home.

She also wants to make The Snug somewhere for people to sit and work and to put the coffee shop on the map for the local arts scene over the coming months.

She said: “It was a bit slow to start off because a lot of people were expecting us to do fry ups. I’m now thinking of going more down the healthy food route with juices, salads and wraps because there’s lots of chippies and pizza places on Market Street.

“We’re trying to get people to supply the shop with local produce and crafts. We’ve got jewellery and a few other things people make at home on sale in the shop.

“I also want to get a couple of bands in to do acoustic sessions and open mic nights, though that won’t be for a few months yet until we get settled in.”