Strong Adolfos cafe recently won the south west’s prestigious Food Reader Awards. We caught up with John Friström Eldridge who with his wife Mathilda are the team behind the popular roadside cafe.
Strong Adolfo’s, a trendy roadside café where great food is served alongside lashings of surf and motorcycle culture. The menu is a mix of classic café food with more adventurous specials inspired by dishes from all around the world and the mouth-watering cakes are legendary.
John, congratulations on winning your recent award, has the journey been a smooth ride or was it harder than you thought?
It’s definitely been a lot more intensive than we expected due to the fact that we have been open 7 days a since week 2. There have been highs and lows but all of them worth it. We’ve grown a lot as a business and also as business owners.
What’s been the best thing at Strong Adolfos?
There is no one best thing and perhaps we will be a little bias anyway. We think perhaps the variety of food and also there is nearly always something new on the menu on a daily basis.
What would you put your success down to?
I think I would say that it is down to sticking to what we believe in and creating a place that we would be stoked to discover and visit as a customer.
What do you think about the Cornish food scene in Cornwall these days?
The food scene in Cornwall is great, it has been strong for a long time but it seems over the last few years it really has gone from strength to strength and also become more diverse with new and exciting places opening up. We love it when we have the chance to go and explore what is going on here and find new places to go out.
How has it changed from when you were growing up here?
My passion for food and drink has blossomed over the last 5-6 years and prior to that I wasn’t really noticing too much what was going on. Although my dad and stepmother briefly owned and ran Pizzas at Rojanos in Padstow when I was around 12, so I did see a little of the behind the scenes back then. There has definitely been a change over the last 30 years but there would be anywhere I guess. I think the biggest change happening now is culturally, with inspiration coming from the big cities and travel, especially as a new generation of coffee and food lovers are settling down and opening their own places.
Most importantly do you still get time to surf?
Oh yes, not as much as I used to but yeah I still get my fair share. Although as I get older the burning desire to just get in there when its average is not so strong. I kind of save it for the good days now.
Find Strong Adolfos at Hawksfield’s new cultural hub on the Atlantic Highway (the A39) just outside of Wadebridge, where you can tuck into artisan food, browse local art and get your hands on retro and vintage design. You can find Mathilda’s recipe for her luscious Raspberry and Meringue Cake in the Saltwater Kitchen Cookbook.