Response has bean so good, says café owner

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The owner of a new town coffee shop says he is overwhelmed by the staggering number of job applications he has received.

Francis Canale, 55, will open the flagship UK store of his family’s café company Roastino this weekend, but says he had a tough job whittling down job-hunters to find his final three employees.

According to Francis, his advertisement with Jobcentre Plus prompted 2,423 replies to his personal web account. The shocked entrepreneur said: “People do sometimes say there are lots of people out of work but when you hear that, it’s shocking.”

Francis wanted his workforce to be local, so turned down those who lived further than a 20-mile radius from the Hemel Hempstead store.

He added: “I looked at the different CVs and I know I would have liked to see more people, but I had to get through it somehow. I couldn’t respond to everyone.

“I tried my best to be fair to everybody and I do feel sorry for many of them, but I am confident the three we chose will do the job very well.”

The Marlowes store, situated at the corner of Bridge Street, will host an open day this Saturday, March 9 to show prospective customers what their brand is all about.

Francis, who has already set up two Roastino shops in the south of France, added: “There are some beautiful coffee shops in Hemel Hempstead, but we think we can go a step further by offering customers the choice of the origin of their coffee.

“Everybody is talking about traceability, and our coffee is roasted on the premises. Customers can choose coffee from Nicaragua or Columbia, for example. It will be a rich experience.”

Roastino’s open day will feature a buffet as well as various coffee tastings.