THE owner of a family-run deli has thanked loyal customers for sticking with the business during more than a year of roadworks.

Katie Vaughan-Fowler, who opened Deli-Licious nine years ago, said the Marston cafe had been badly impacted by traffic caused by the Access to Headington scheme.

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She said: “Takings were down 30 to 50 per cent but it is just beginning to pick up again now.

“I want to say thank you to our loyal customers who have been committed to coming despite the roadworks.”

Oxford Mail:

The mother-of-four said the cafe had a mix of regulars, including students and teachers at nearby schools, patients and staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital, as well as builders and elderly residents.

She added: “We try to be a real community hub and I originally opened the cafe as essentially an extension of my kitchen.”

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Deli-licious received an extra boost when a surprise inspection from Oxford City Council’s health team gave the Cherwell Drive cafe another five-star food hygiene following a visit on August 29.

Mrs Vaughan-Fowler said: “It’s really important to have that top score because it’s about trust for the customer.

Oxford Mail:

“We employee a lot of students and it is important for them to be trained in the right way to do things.

She added: "We're constantly checking for changes in the rules and it gives us something to aim for."

As well as high hygiene standards, she said the deli was committed to being eco-friendly and eliminating as much food waste as possible, offering free leftover stock at the end of each day so it did not end up being thrown away.

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She added: “We make our own paninis, quiches, soups and cakes, as well as stocking deli items that we source from local suppliers.”

The cafe owner said despite the recent challenges she 'absolutely loved' running the business.

Reviews are glowing for the deli on website Tripadvisor, where it has a rating of 4.5 out of five.

Oxford Mail:

A recent customer wrote: “Popped in by chance and very glad we did.

“Lovely paninis really full tasty filling and lovely and soft.

“Very nice staff and chai latte is brilliant.”

Another described the deli as ‘wonderful’ with a ‘lovely atmosphere’.

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They added: “Both the food and the staff at Deli-Licious are hard to beat - great little family-friendly place to grab a bite to eat where nothing is too much trouble for the very welcoming staff.

“I highly recommend it to all!”

For more about the cafe search Deli-licious Oxford on Facebook.