Cosy, funky, tasty … Hello Dolly’s !

Cet article a été rédigé dans le cadre de l’atelier web-journalisme en Seconde Section Internationale au lycée Allende d’Hérouville St Clair. 

Dolly’s is a British restaurant next to the castle in Caen. We have been to it and have interviewed Colette Taylor, the founder and manager of Dolly’s, a server and a regular client.

« I hate seeing meat going to waste because it was once a live animal. » Colette Taylor is fervently against food waste, she has recently become a vegan but before had been a devoted vegetarian for 30 years. She is a middle aged woman who is half English, half French. She arrived in Caen with her husband and her two children in 1994. She was born into the food buisiness and always had a passion for it. She went to a catering school and worked for a food magazine. Colette and her husband created Dolly’s, a British food based restaurant, in 1998, in Caen, after having owned a grocery shop next door since 1995. They sold British products in the shop, but the customers wanted more tables, so that’s when they decided to buy the store beside them. The name Dolly’s is actualy Colette’s nickname, only used by her husband. They found it while playing a silly game in his car.

In this restaurant, they make their own food, almost everything is produced localy, it comes a lot from organic farms. Some of the food is vegetarian, vegan or gluten free. Colette would like Dolly’s to become a 100 % vegetarian restaurant, but products would be harder to find, so it’s not impossible. But she thinks there is about 40 % right now, which is a lot already. At the beginning, Dolly’s was so successful because the concept was completely new, here in Caen. It was also due to the connection between the customers and the staff but through word of mouth too. The choices they made for the menu were based on family meals : meat for her husband and children and vegetarian food for Colette. The employees are all required to speak English fluently. We asked a waiter that was serving us how he learnt English and he replied :”I went to England for two years”. We also met a pakistani barman.

Colette’s daughter has founded two 100% vegetarian restaurants in Caen called Greedy Guts and Pancake Night Fever. Like her mother, she has chosen to be a vegan and wants to share her way of eating to others.

Mrs Taylor does not want to expand Dolly’s and also her concept because it is a unique restaurant and she wants it to stay that way. Also, she does not care how much money she earns, so she thinks it’s big enough and wants to keep the cosy atmosphere.

Dolly’s is a big success in Caen and there are more and more clients. Colette doesn’t work there as much and the restaurant continues living almost on it’s own.

Text and photos by Logan, Anne, Marina and Lizzy