Shrewsbury café backs typhoon victims with opening day profits

A Shrewsbury café owner is donating the profits from his first day of trading after moving his business to the Darwin Shopping Centre to the Philippines Disaster Appeal.

Durmus Bozdogan, 38, has run his business Aleyna’s Café at the Riverside Shopping Centre but is moving to larger premises in the Darwin Centre to accommodate an increase in trade.

And with the café due to open within the next week Durmus, who hails from Turkey, says he wants to do something to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

He said: “I’m really pleased to be moving to the Darwin Centre. I have been in Shrewsbury for more than 10 years now and we opened Aleyna’s Café at the Riverside more than six years ago.

“Business has gone really well and we have many regular customers who all say they will be coming to the Darwin Centre to enjoy their coffees and cakes.

“I wanted to celebrate opening our new café in the Darwin centre by raising funds for a charity and that’s why we chose to do something to try and support the poor people of the Philippines.

“We will also be having free tasting of our cakes and savouries so new customers know what we offer.”

However, getting the new café just right is something of as family affair for Durmus who admits he needs the approval of his seven-year-old daughter, after whom the café is named, before he adds new products to the café’s menu.

He said: “Aleyna likes to sample everything we sell and is particularly fond of our chocolate cake! She also likes to have her say about how the café looks, she can be very demanding and has an eye for detail.

“She would soon have something to say if she didn’t like something we put on the menu. She likes to put forward her own ideas for new paninis, toasties or sandwiches and, of course, cakes.”

Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, said: “Aleyna’s has quickly become a Shrewsbury institution with many very loyal customers and we’re delighted to see it opening in the Darwin centre and with Aleyna’s input I’m sure it will continue to be very popular

“We’re pleased to have been able to celebrate a number of new openings recently and that shows what a vibrant place Shrewsbury is.”

And the new Aleyna’s Café is also good news on the jobs front as Durmus says he will be looking for a new full-time employee very shortly.

Durmus, who also has a second daughter, Millie, four, said: “I have two members of staff who are staying with us and moving across from the Riverside.

“At first we need to see how things go but I am sure we will have to take someone else on and it will be a full-time role.

“I am just pleased to be moving to the Darwin Centre. Aleyna’s Café is really established and popular with many regulars and I’m sure we can go from strength to strength at our new site.”

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