Anthony Grice says it’s the perfect time to launch Fika number two
Swedish-inspired coffee shop Fika has announced it will launch a second branch at Liverpool Watersports Centre this year.
Since lockdown happened, we've exploded. More people know we’re here and we’ve just gone to another level
The original Fika opened in 2018 inside a former off-licence near Mosspits Lane Primary School in Wavertree. Since then, the coffee shop on Woolton Road has developed a loyal following for its traditional Scandinavian delicacies - freshly baked cinnamon rolls, smørrebrød, chokladbullar, freshly baked breads and Scandi-style breakfasts.
"Fika" - in case you wondered - is the Swedish word for coffee break, a huge part of Swedish culture. The Swedes take them as seriously as the Spanish take their siestas.
With a working title of #fikaonthewaterfront, Fika number two will open inside Liverpool Watersports Centre at Queens Dock this spring and benefit from spectacular views of the river and city.
Anthony Grice, owner and manager of Fika, says that it feels like the right time to expand.
"It’s exciting times. I feel like I’ve outgrown this place now, but I'm not going to give this place up," Anthony told Confidentials.
"Since lockdown happened, we've exploded. More people know that we’re here and we’ve just gone to another level.
"I feel that now is the right time for us to expand and move down towards the city centre and reach out to more people with all the stuff that we do for communities."
In 2021, Anthony was recognised as a "lockdown hero" with a Community Connectors Award in recognition for his support for vulnerable neighbours during lockdown.
He received the award for preparing and delivering supplies to more than 500 vulnerable local people when his business was forced to close due to COVID-19, funding his efforts with his own money.
Since reopening, Anthony has continued to support the local community and has been steadfast in displaying uplifting messages outside the coffee shop to raise the spirits of people living and working in the local area.
Anthony says the menu at Fika on the waterfront will feature milkshakes, smoothies, and iced drinks - perfect for sunny weather - plus hot food, sandwiches, and daily specials.
"We’re going to do a different menu, and we’re still working on that. We will see what people like," he said.
"The watersports centre is a fantastic location for us to move to. There’s nothing there of this type, in that area. So I thought, let’s give this a go and see what we can do.
"Come the summertime, it’s gonna be fantastic down there."
As well as managing Fika, Anthony has developed a bit of a sideline as a food critic, running the Facebook group "Eating Out Liverpool Food Guide". The group has nearly 6,000 members and encourages people to post reviews of their favourite restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.
"I do eat out quite a lot, I think because I’ve been cooking all day and the last thing I want to do is go home and cook," he laughs.
"I'm always trying to push independent businesses on there. I’ve got thousands of posts on there waiting to be approved. People post about Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants and I don’t want that. Promote Harry’s chippy, or Mo’s kekab shop on Aigburth Road!
"That’s just the way I am, I’m all for the city. If the city’s full of franchises, you’re just the same as London, or Birmingham. And with independents, the money stays in the city as well."
Liverpool Watersports Centre is not for profit and part of the charity Local Solutions, whose aim is to make watersports accessible for all, by providing a variety of affordable activities for individuals and groups.
Anthony says that he wants to partner with the centre to employ disadvantaged people in the new coffee shop, giving them a chance to get their life on track again.
"You can’t get a job without experience, and you can't get experience without a job," he says.
"If we can give them that experience by working there then that's gonna set them up. They can create a CV, get customer service skills, barista skills, they’re gonna get paid into a bank account, they’re gonna be earning money. So that’s a big part of it as well."
Follow Vicky Andrews on Twitter: @planetvicster
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