Hatch Luncheonette on Blackwellgate has survived a pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis, and is going from strength to strength.
Husband and wife team Bill and Jasmin Robson wanted to build a food business that they would want to visit, and they seem to have done just that.
Passionate about using locally sourced ingredients, with an emphasis on good, honest, healthy food, the couple has certainly made their mark in the Darlington food scene.
Mrs Robson told The Northern Echo: “My husband had always worked in hospitality and I worked in the police for 14 years and we always knew we wanted to run a business like this together, so when this unit came up five years ago it was just the perfect place.”
Mr Robson also runs Hash Bar & Kitchen on Coniscliffe Road and so it was a natural progression to open an additional business.
Nearly two years ago, the pair opened Hatch On The Go, next door to the main café, which was a big hit.
Mrs Robson continued: “We just want to say thank you to our lovely customers because without them we wouldn’t still be here. We’re so glad that it’s worked and customers keep coming back.
“We wanted somewhere that we would enjoy coming to as customers and that seems to work.”
“During lockdown we opened for take-out but things got a bit difficult when we properly opened up again so having a second unit has made things so much easier for us.”
Like anyone setting up a new business, there are challenges and hurdles to overcome. Mr and Mrs Robson could not have predicted a pandemic followed by a cost-of-living crisis though.
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“It’s been a massive challenge but we’re so glad we’re still going, and people keep coming back.”
Hatch Luncheonette is open from 9am-4pm through the week, 9am-5pm on Saturdays, and 10am-4pm on Sundays, selling a range of hot and cold food, drinks, and snacks to eat in or take away.