Sister cafés, La Vina in Cleadon and No.4 in East Boldon, have joined forces to feed their local community’s isolated elderly

La Vina, which is usually a cosy café by day and a romantic bistro by night, closed their doors in accordance with government guidelines, but have kept their kitchen open to feed those in need by delivering free meals to the local & lonely elderly.

As per government protocols, owners of La Vina Café, No. 4 East Boldon, and the “formerly soon-to-open” 42 Dean Street restaurant in Newcastle, are ensuring that the meals come with as little human contact as possible. They’re taking regular temperature checks, perfecting their already 5-star hygiene rota, and self-isolating themselves.

The husband and wife duo, Sean and Danielle McCann, currently chef and driver respectively, have taken over roles from their employees.

They are preparing around 40 meals per day across South Tyneside, including soups, pies, curries and more, with different dishes every day.

Danielle Delivers Delicious Door-to-Door Dishes

Danielle, who is a recently retired NHS nurse, has volunteered to return to the NHS to help out on the frontline. Until then, the McCann’s plan on delivering meals to the vulnerable across South Tyneside.

Danielle said: “We’re in a fortunate place to provide help to vulnerable people, so we want to do our bit where we can.

“Although we had to close all three restaurants, and Furlough our staff, we still plan on carry on and using our facilities to help those who can’t shop or make hot meal.”

Sean said: “No one could have predicted this, and we can’t blame the government for protecting the country and shutting this industry down, was one of the first steps it needed to take; but its hit us hard.
I don’t think anyone or any business could have been prepared for a catastrophe of this proportion. For instance, we had a limited stocks of supplies, as we use fresh local produce wherever we can.”

“At present, we have not been able to access any government help. They have announced grants for small businesses and a pay subsidy for furloughed workers, but nothing has materialised as yet.”

“As it stands, not only are we paying the ongoing costs of running the business but also paying staff wages as we don’t want to see our fantastic staff suffer. We have heard the promises made by the government, I just hope it materialises sooner rather than later.
In times like these, we all need to band together and do our bit to help those around us; and this is what we can do to help.”

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