A café owner who ‘lost everything’ after being forced out of his former site is now up and running at a new home.
Riccardo Sedda opened Coffee Heart in Colston Avenue in October 2019 and earned glowing reviews for his range of authentic Italian food and coffee.
But just seven months later, the 38-year-old was forced to leave after the new owners of the building revealed their plans to transform the ground floor into a reception area for the offices above.
Riccardo claimed he was not made aware that the premises was on the brink of being bought by Topland Group – a major London-based investment firm – when he took on the lease.
Speaking to Bristol Live at the time, he said he was offered a small fee to shut up shop, which he “accepted with a heavy heart”.
After the shock departure, Riccardo picked up a job working in the Amazon warehouse in Avonmouth, alongside some manual labour, to support his family throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, one year on from losing his first café, Riccardo is back doing what he loves having found a new home. He has taken over Mocha Mocha on St Michael’s Hill after the previous owner poured his final flat white.
“It was really sad what happened at Coffee Heart,” said the 38-year-old. “We worked really hard to build the business up and we had just found our feet, but then we lost everything.
“The bills kept on piling up and I have a three-year-old son, so I kept busy by working for Amazon and doing the odd job here and there, including a bit of manual labour and working at a vaccination centre in Bath.
“It hasn’t been easy, but it’s a similar story for a lot of people out there.”
After scouring estate agent websites each evening, Riccardo discovered that the lease for Mocha Mocha on St Michael’s Hill had become available.
Just weeks later he had picked up the keys and was on site carrying out a refurbishment, before getting the doors open on Monday (May 17).
Carrying on the theme from Coffee Heart, customers can order from a wide range of Italian coffee and delicacies such as paninis, pizza and cannoli, alongside a few café classics including bacon baps.
“It feels so good to be open again at a new home in a brilliant location” added Riccardo, who moved to Bristol from Sardinia with his wife and young child to set up Coffee Heart.
“We’ve been really busy so far and lots of customers have been popping in to say hello. I already feel welcome in the area.”