Business Profile: In the Spotlight

This month we talk to Simona Mihu, owner of Zai Café, a local Hampton Wick gem.

When, and why, did you start your business?

We opened Zai Café a couple of years ago, just before the start of the pandemic. We love to bake and if you can make a living doing what you love, then the customers will feel it and hopefully appreciate the difference.  

What do you love most about running your own business?

The appreciation of our happy customers, and the fact we have the freedom to create and implement our own ideas. 

What challenges did you face when setting up?

This is our first shop and we had many ideas on what we wanted to create but less knowledge on how it would work as a business, therefore the whole setting up was a challenge! 

What valuable lessons have you learned?

How important the financial part of the business is (unfortunately!). 

Is there anything you would do differently if starting out again?

We are still learning and looking to adapt as best as we can to the changing market but overall we are still happy. 

What’s your most popular service or product?

Celebration cakes for anniversaries and birthdays, plus our different flavoured home-made biscuits (not forgetting our coffee, of course!).   

What are your plans/hopes for the future of the business?

Our plan is to continue offering high-quality, home-made products to our customers and we really hope to make our name count within our local community. 

Name some other local independent businesses that you love to support.

We like and support all small, family-run, independent businesses…we’re not fans of the chains!  

What do you love about our local area?

The people (well, at least 99% of them!) 

And finally, tell us a little-known fact about yourself!

I’m Romanian born and a former European Rights lawyer. I’ve been settled with my family in London for over six years and am finally following my life’s passion… baking.

Zai Cafe | | 07481 838050

81 High St, Hampton Wick, Kingston upon Thames KT1 4DG

(Open Monday-Saturday 9:00-14:00, Closed Sundays)

Compiled by The Word Sanctum, Copywriters for small businesses. | @thewordsanctum

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