Meet the owners
Meet Matt and Sophie
Fancy some good food, good wine and good conversation by the river? Then pop to Café Foy on the Quayside, run by Cambridge-born Matt Martin and his sister Sophie
What inspired you to launch Café Foy?
I was working in London as a consultant, and prior to that had been a chalet cook for ski seasons in Meribel, so I knew I enjoyed working with food. My wife and I moved back from London a year before we opened Café Foy, as some friends and I planned to turn an old building into a café down by Jesus Lock, but that didn’t work out, so I was working on the punts when I spotted the Café Foy site become available. We launched in 2018, and I brought my younger sister Sophie on board.
Where does the name originate from?
It’s part of the Magdalene motto, meaning ‘keep the faith’ and it is an old Scottish word to celebrate having a drink before or after a journey. It’s also a nautical term to help a ship in distress, and sounds a bit like joy so we thought it was nice and catchy.
Tell us about your food and drink offering?
We wanted to have a café bar which could offer a lot of things, so we serve great locally-roasted coffee, and brunch dishes such as shakshuka, which has been really popular, plus the usuals like avocado on toast. Our toasties have been on the menu since we opened; we do a three cheese toastie and the Reuben, which is based on the famous New York sandwich, with pastrami, salt beef, pickles and cheese. Everything is cooked from scratch using ingredients from local suppliers like Radmore Farm Shop, and Stir Bakery, where we source our bread. In the evening we offer light dishes, cocktails and a quirky wine list which has been created by Cambridge Wine Merchants, and we cater for private events as well. In the summer we have an outdoor Pimm’s Bar so customers can sit and enjoy a drink down on the riverside.
Tell me about your cakes
They are made by local Italian lady, Debora, of Biscotti di Debora. Her best seller by far is the salted caramel cake which is delicious. She also does an amazing orange and polenta cake. We intend to add to our cake offering this year with some delicious tray bake options including brownies.
What do people love about Café Foy?
They love the riverside location and the fact it’s in the middle of town. There’s nowhere really in Cambridge when you can be a group of 20 friends and rent a whole space for yourselves, with amazing views across the River Cam. I also think customers like the casual family feel to the place, and the fact all the food is made with a lot of love and care.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of running a café bar?
It’s definitely working with a team of young dynamic people, which makes it such a fun environment. It’s also nice to be able to offer good service and great food to people who really appreciate it.
What makes Café Foy unique?
What is different is that we are very much a bar and events space as well as a café, so we can serve someone a coffee and cake at the same time as their friend enjoying an Aperol spritz as the sun is going down. And where it is – with the view of Magdalene College and the punts going by – is pretty unique too.
Visit Café Foy at 2 Quayside, Cambridge. The café bar is due to reopen end of February/beginning of March. Find out more at cafefoy.com
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