Tablez in Millstream Square has been established for just five years, but co-owner Mesut Palabiyik says they are thrilled at the achievement up against a shortlist of five other top eateries from cities such as Nottingham and Leicester.
He said: “We are even more proud to put a small town like Sleaford on the map. It is not just for us and the staff, it is for the local community who have supported us since we opened.”
They won the best Cafe Bistro in the East Midlands after being nominated for the Food Awards England, held in the Mercure Hotel in Manchester on Monday. Mesut attended with business partner Ismail Uzkar and long serving staff Mia, Samantha and Mya.
Mesut said they are pleased to be recognised to doing a good job, but the business has always had a social conscience too, supporting charities and those that are homeless, struggling or vulnerable, as well as providing for the housebound during the early days of the pandemic. Mesut said: “I’ve been there and seen that struggle.
"It is a small town and I love it here, people are so friendly and customers want to chat.”
The cafe delivers a menu of English dishes with an Eastern Mediterranean twist, putting on special Turkish nights too. They won a Lincolnshire Taste of Excellence award in 2019.
He added: “We’ve come a long way in a short time. People like what we do making fresh, great food – not a fast food place.”
They eventually hope to open branches in Grantham or Lincoln with the ultimate goal of a formal dining restaurant in the future.