Sheffield cafe set up in first lockdown goes from ‘strength to strength’ thanks to vibrant independent scene in city suburb

A Sheffield business which opened during the first lockdown is ‘going from strength to strength’ after two long-term friends followed their dreams to set up a cafe.

Sunday, 4th April 2021, 6:51 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th April 2021, 7:11 pm

Adam Heyes, aged 38, set up Pop Up Sarni in Nether Edge with friend Katie Tye last May, after the restaurant which was due to open below their Abbeydale Road flats pulled out at the last minute.

Adam said that while lockdown was maybe not the ideal time to set up a new venture, the vibrant independent business scene in Abbeydale Road and Nether Edge had helped them survive.

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Pop Up Sarni is on Abbeydale Road next door to the Gin Bar in Nether Edge.

And he added that now restrictions are beginning to ease, they have big plans for the rest of the year including opening a dog friendly terrace when outside hospitality resumes on April 12.

Adam said: “Throughout Covid there has been a lot of uncertainty but we have gone from strength to strength and are doing really well.

“We didn’t know if it was going to work but the locals have really kept us going. We thought even in the worst case scenario at least we’ll be able to say we tried.”

Adam said while being thrown in at the deep end last May came as something of a surprise, he had in fact long harboured dreams to run his own cafe.

Adam Heyes set up Pop Up Sarni with friend Katie Tye in the first lockdown last year.

“I have done lots of different jobs including working in offices and call centres - but I have always dreamt of running my own cafe,” he said.

“Both me and Katie live above the Gin Bar next door so it has been ideal for us. Our commutes are really easy!”

The division of labour between the good friends also works well, with Adam taking front of house responsibilities and Katie doing the majority of the cooking.

And good home-cooked food isn’t the only thing on offer, with Adam’s artistic skills also on display in the cafe for customers to buy if they want to as well.

Pop Up Sarni's dog friendly rear terrace.

“People say we are not your usual cafe,” laughs Adam.

“I have a side business painting plant pots so we are part garden centre, part art gallery and part bacon sandwich shop.”

Pop Up Sarni is open seven days a week and is based at 448 Abbeydale Road.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.