Kafé Fontana is owned and managed by Sarah and Nigel Sims since 2008.
Sarah studied catering at Highbury College, Portsmouth for three years, finishing in the top three students (the first girl!), with distinctions in all her subjects. She soon got a job in the West End of London working at Tiddy Dolls restaurant, Shepherds Market, Mayfair.
Sarah was then offered the chance to move to Zug, Switzerland, to further her patisserie training, working for Movenpick Restaurants. After a year there she moved to Düsseldorf, Germany to work for the same company, rising to the position of Junior sous chef and honing her skills in European cuisine at their 5 star restaurant.
This led to a move to Canada, where Sarah spent three years working in another 5 star fish restaurant. On returning to UK she moved back to London and worked in restaurants in Covent Garden, the West End and The City before working for Sir Terence Conran at Quaglino’s with John Torode (before he became famous!). For six years Sarah worked in the restaurant trade, before taking a break and managing a delicatessen in West Hampstead.
Personal circumstances brought Sarah back to Hampshire where she became head chef in a small but busy wine bar, before becoming head chef for Estée Lauder companies HQ , delving into the frantic world of corporate dining and contract catering managed by Compass group UK. During this time she met Nigel, and they were married. He was an engineer at the time working for a multi national company making air conditioning units and solar shading (interesting) and riding his Kawasaki motorbike all around the country.
After seven years working for Compass at Estée Lauder the pull of owning their own business became ever stronger, so they sold their house, packed up the cat and moved to deepest Dorset where they bought Kafé Fontana. Nigel trained to be a barista (as well as the all-important accounts training)… and the rest, as they say, is history. Nigel now rides an Aprilia Shiver motorbike, but not as much as he would like to, while Sarah spends her free time tending their vegetable plot, herbs and flowers – but not missing the chance to ride pillion with Nigel when she can!