Inma and husband Tony Edwards have been running their delicatessen on Penarth Road for more than a quarter of a century. The business is one of the first to become part of the facelift for shops in the area.
Deimante Auksoriute, Khalid Ayanleh and Azul De Pol met them for Grangetown News. Photos: Azul De Pol
Tell us about the business?
Tony: The business started 27 years ago and was called Inma’s Continental Store. We started as a delicatessen mostly selling bits from all over the world, however as we found the lead market for homemade food was spaghetti, rolls and that sort of thing and that is the direction we took as supermarkets have killed all the little shops over the years. Just this last month the business was a little slow due to the road closure and works around [for the regeneration scheme] but generally there are many happy customers coming over the years and so we are doing quite well.
How did the business develop over the years?
Tony: Prior to Inma’s I had a power tools business next door, however due to the recession in 1987 the business closed down. However, what we found during that time that the food business was a profitable market. A couple of years later we started ‘Inma’s Continental Store’ with deli food products and later we started doing a lot more take-away food as lasagne, meatballs, chicken curry etc. The business seemed always good with customers, we were busy all the time.
What can you offer?
Tony: Homemade food such as baguettes, lasagne, chicken curry, meatballs, paella, cakes and a variety of different foods from all over the world to choose from. Our speciality is our garlic chicken baguette which is a food that originates from Inma’s mother’s recipe. It has become what we’re most well-known for and is our most popular amongst our customers in Grangetown.
Tell me how did you meet your wife?
Tony: We met during when she moved from Spain to work as an au pair for a family in Penarth. I come from the Penarth area, so we met there – which is a long story! We have three girls and four grandchildren and they all live in Penarth.
What type of customers do you get?
Tony: We have a very metropolitan and culturally diverse range of customers. In hand with that, we have customers who have been coming here for many, many years. Our usual customers are local people and people who come to Grangetown for work. On occasion we get people who still come after 26 years; we get people coming from five years to 50 years old. A lot of people,who come now, came in as the kids with their parents, and now they are coming with their own kids, third generations even now just starting to come here. We get people from all around the world but main customers are local residents. It’s a very cultured and varied kind of custom we get.’
Do you get a chance to get involved in the community?
Tony: No, not really. That’s the problem as me and my wife are always running the business from 9 to 6 o’clock every day. This is a family business and my wife cooks here full time. We have only one employee that works here every day. We are always busy here. It’s difficult to get involved into community events but we do wish to be if we had the time to be.
What’s your aim?
Tony: It’s not about winning awards, it’s about making our customers happy and producing good quality home-made food and that’s what we are doing. A lot of cafes and restaurants are driven for awards but the greatest award for us is bringing the customers in and them enjoying what we have to offer.
What do you think about Grangetown?
Inma: I think Grangetown is lovely. It’s walking distance to the city; you don’t need a taxi, you can drink as much as you want and walk home and save money. I would love to live in Grangetown because it’s such a lovely place and the people are lovely too. There’s a strong metropolitan and community-based feel here, it’s nice.
Are you pleased about the regeneration?
Inma: Yes, very pleased. It has been great for trade. More people are venturing out here now to see what is here as the whole area was quite rundown and it now looks much better.
We have had more of a cross section of people coming in
and it has improved trade, and of course we now have double glazing so it’s warmer inside!