In our latest interview with a Caterham character, we chat to Said Yazici, the owner and manager of Sweet and Savoury Waffles, where their high-quality, home-cooked fare has led to them becoming one of Caterham’s top foodie destinations.
Tell us a bit about Sweet and Savoury Waffles…
Prior to arriving in Caterham, I was a pastry chef at The Hurlingham Club in Fulham for five years, so it was great to have that experience. However, I had always dreamed of having my own restaurant, so in August 2017, I opened my own place here. This is the first time I have run my own business, but so far it has been going well. We specialise in sweet and savoury waffles, flavoured gelatos from Italy and then there are our popular paninis. In addition, we are also quite renowned in the town for our coffee, milkshakes and smoothies. People can eat in or takeaway, and we have many regular customers, of all different ages, who often end up becoming our friends.
What made you decide to set up in Caterham?
I am not from this area and, before we opened, I had looked at many places both in and out of London. However, when I came here, I just fell in love with Caterham. I am quite an emotion-led person, and always follow my heart in life, and this place just felt right. It wasn’t anything really specific that I can tell you – more just a feeling – and a connection to the general area. I loved it from the moment I arrived and I love it just as much now.
Is there any advice you would have for other business owners in Caterham?
First of all, I would say that you have to like what you are doing; that’s the key I think. If you genuinely like what you are doing, and do your job nicely and professionally, people will respond to that. Of course, you should always be honest with your customers, too. Finally, I think it helps if you have your own niche, as it gives people a reason to visit and helps bring diversity to the town. Here at our place, I feel so lucky as everyone in Caterham has been so supportive of us since the start.
Why should someone visit your business for the first time?
As mentioned earlier, I worked as a pastry chef before this for quite some time, so I consider myself a true professional and like to hope that our products are of a very high quality. Also, we have a very good relationship with all our guests. I say guests, rather than customers, because everyone becomes like family. I think that’s the great thing about coming to an independent like us, rather than a chain, as you get that genuinely personal service. Everyone really is part of a big family.
What would be your top tip for someone visiting Caterham?
I love to have some quiet time occasionally, so I really like to visit the nearby Happy Valley Park, located in the Green Belt. It’s a very nice place to visit and you can also think calmly and clearly. Also, Caterham has many good restaurants – particularly Indian of which I’m a big fan. Last but not least, I’m also a member of Caterham Valley Library, which I enjoy very much.
Describe your typical lunch break to us…
I really like to spend time in the kitchen, creating new things, as that’s my passion. So I’ll probably cook something for myself while also trying out possible new things for our menu.
Finally, tell us your favourite thing about the town…
It’s got to be the community spirit; everyone here is just so friendly and supportive. As mentioned earlier, I think if you are nice to people and do your job well, then people accept you – and, before long, you become part of the big family here. I feel very proud to have become a part of that.
- Find out more about Sweet and Savoury Waffles in the Caterham Valley business directory.
- Share what you most love about Caterham Valley with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Meet more Caterham Characters…
- Meet Stuart Johnston from home-improvements business, Shard Solutions
- Meet The Caterham Cobbler, Stilios Photiou
- Meet Andrew Browne from JJ Browne & Son jewellery
- Meet Abigail Pedrick from Pedrick’s Zero Waste Shop
- Meet Erika Giucastro, team leader at Clarks Shoes
- Meet Paul Smith, director of Fenchurch Insurance Brokers
- Meet the joint owner of Specsavers, Sundip Patel
- Meet Vitaltone Pharmacy and Vitaleyes Opticians’s Shim Patel
- Meet the manager of St Catherine’s Hospice charity shop, Emma Glass
- Meet Bow Butterfly’s Katie Kennedy
- Meet Time Hair & Beauty’s Katherine Casey-Farmer
- Meet Jade Insurance’s Martin Kemp
- Meet Caterham Galleries’ Jodie Green
- Meet Surrey Strength and Performance owner, Daniel Iaciofano
- Meet Helena Fortley bridal boutique’s Sally Brady
- Meet Wingate’s Ben Clarke
- Meet Huntley Cartwright’s Chris Huntley
- Meet Bib & Tucker’s Togs Ali
- Meet The Wedding LookBook’s Ying Shi