FEATURED: Andre's Food Bar
54 Osborne Road, Southsea, PO5 3LU
André’s Food Bar was established in 1988 as a family business and is the city’s oldest independent sandwich shop. Now being run by the next generation of the family, André Guedeney has worked in the shop since before he could see over the counter. With signature sandwich fillings such as the venue’s famous garlic chicken and the tuna salad niçoise, as well as classics like bacon and egg mayo and brie and cranberry, this is the perfect place to stop off for a spot of lunch.
(023) 9281 7911 | www.andresfoodbar.com
Meet André; the man who is taking the family business forward
David George met André Guedeney to learn more about a family business which began back in 1988.
When did you start baking? “For as long as I can remember I have been experimenting in the kitchen. Our business was first established by my parents in 1988 and some of my earliest memories are of watching my parents working in the shop, seeing their passion for creating new recipes and how they valued their customer relationships. I remember wanting to work in the shop from a young age and as soon as I could see over the counter, I got my first job in the shop working as a Saturday boy! I began managing the day-to-day running before taking over the business in January 2016.”
What inspired you to take over the family business? “I have always been incredibly proud of my parents’ hard work and dedication to the business. Over the years, they developed many unique and now locally-renowned recipes: our famous homemade garlic chicken, homemade mini quiches, our salad niçoise as well as our homemade mayonnaise and dressings, are just some examples of our closelyguarded family recipes which we have been serving for almost 30 years. I have always wanted to build on this with my own recipes and continue to grow the family business for another 30 years – and beyond!”
Why is André’s special? “The quality and range of the products we offer is undoubtedly one of the most important factors: we freshly bake all our bread and many other products on the premises every day, we have the largest range of fresh baguette fillings anywhere in the city, and our range of fresh cakes and breakfast patisseries and brand new André’s freshly-ground coffee is pretty good too! Our huge variety of fillings and toppings means that each customer can individually select exactly what they would like, as there are literally 100s of different combinations. Ultimately, we offer the freshest food to go in the city and at a reasonable price.”
What has been your most memorable moment? “Without a doubt it would have to be when we received a call during the America’s Cup last summer from a national supermarket chain telling us that they had been let down by one of their suppliers and wouldn’t be able to fulfil an order to cater for all the staff throughout the event. We were asked to step in and supply all the lunches - with less than four hours’ notice! On what was already one of our busiest days of the year, we managed to bake, fill and supply some 500 lunches to the extremely hardworking and appreciative volunteers. A truly phenomenal achievement! We then went on to supply the lunches for the volunteers every day of the event thereafter. If it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of my own team, it wouldn’t have been possible!”
What has been the secret to your success so far? “Aside from having the best customers in the city who are extremely loyal and supportive of everything we do, the reason we have been going for so long is down to the simple fact that we have not lost sight of who we are and what we are good at; providing freshly-made food to go with a personal service to cater for all tastes.”
What are your future goals? “Recently we have experienced huge demand for our outside catering services, which caters for all types of events and special occasions. We also help fuel many of the city’s business meetings. Moving forward, we would very much like to continue growing and since our re-launch 18 months ago, we have gone from strength to strength. We’d love for this to continue with more shops throughout the city, so watch this space!”