From bridles to breakfast, it’s all go for Nicole Smith at Humbles Cafe Bistro.
No stranger to the hospitality trade, Nicole and her husband Graeme Smith bought Humbles Cafe Bistro in August of 2013. Nicole’s parents owned and ran the Dumbuck Hotel in Dumbarton which they managed for 18 years and previous to that a hotel in Crieff. Graemes mum was a publican in Balloch and Helensburgh for many years.
The couple initially discussed the idea of buying a pub in Helensburgh but realising the impact that could possibly have on their family life and their three young boys, they opted for the shorter opening hours which can come with the running of a day time Cafe Bistro instead.
As well as managing Humbles, Nicole’s family also own and manage the Ardencaple Livery yard, stables accommodating up to 20 horses and situated in arguably one of the most stunning locations in Helensburgh with views over the town and the Clyde. Nicole and her brother have spent their lifetime immersed in the equine world in the past competing nationally and internationally in showjumping.
When asking Nicole how she manages her day she replied,
“ When we took Humbles on we kept all of the staff that the previous owners had employed. We were so lucky that Kelly Andrews, our “Rock” at Humbles decided to stay on, she is really the glue that keeps everything together here.We also have great chefs in Colin, Robert and Callum. It allows myself and Graeme to get on with the other commitments that we both have”
Michael and Catherine McPartland, the previous owners of Humbles had run the business successfully for 17 years and Graeme and Nicole knew it was going to be a hard act to follow.
Nicole said “ We didn't want to make any radical changes, Humbles had many regulars, some of whom came in 2–3 times a day, they knew this place better than us and we certainly did not want to upset anyone. Many people see it as a place to meet for a blether over a coffee and a scone or some lunch, its relaxed, informal and we think good value for money. We are slowly starting to tweak a few things including the menu which we’ll be making small changes to over the next month.”
The place is certainly full and what is so lovely is that all the staff know most of the customers by name, even directing them to their favourite table.
As well as a delicious breakfast menu, Humbles lunch menu is equally as good. With no dishes over £10 its great value for money and with favourites such as homemade lasagne, pizzas and burgers its a go to destination for lunch for Helensburgh residents working in and around the town.