TULLIBODY’S civic centre café celebrated its one year anniversary last week and those behind the venture shared their delight at the progress made so far.

The café opened its doors on Wednesday, February 17, last year as heavy Covid-19 restrictions were still in place.

Originally operating as a takeaway only, the café was open for three days a week.

Janette McGowan, chair of the Tullibody Community Development Trust, said: “The feedback has been extremely positive and more recently, when people have been coming in and they’re seeing what’s on at the centre, it’s made a big difference to people’s engagement.

“It’s been nothing but positive and it’s been a learning experience for us. We’ve got a core group of volunteers working with Drea and that makes a big difference.

“We’re really lucky to have these people to support Drea.”

Back in February 2021, the café was a takeaway-only service; however, now that restrictions have eased and the Covid-19 vaccination programme has been a success, the café has opened its door for customers to come in, have a meal and enjoy that social interaction.

Janette continued: “We always thought having a café here would be a great idea. We deliberated for quite some time whether to start back in February if that was the right time but it worked and Drea’s reputation has brought a lot of folk in as well. I’m delighted with how it’s went.”

Drea McLeish, the centre’s catering assistant, has been with the café since day one and is delighted with how the local community have embraced the venture.

She said: “It’s been a quick year. Any new business is a blank canvas and you’ve got to adapt as you go.

"We’re getting so much busier through word of mouth, too, so I’m really pleased with how it’s been going.”

Back at the beginning Drea’s daughter Liah was volunteering at the café, but has reduced her hours now she’s finished college.

Thankfully for the café, however, Liah’s got a job at a restaurant so her experience has come in handy and she still helps out when she can.

Drea, reflecting on 12 months of serving the Tullibody community, said: “I like a yap and I know everybody.

“Everything’s a work in progress but since we came back after the new year it’s been really great and I just think it’s going to get better and better.”

The Civic Centre café is open every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11am until 2pm.

Visit facebook.com/Cafe-at-the-park-101697635355953/ for more information.