A YORK cafe owner who donated free meals to needy families during lockdown and had panto star Martin Barrass deliver pizzas to customers is The Press's first Trader of the Week.

Beatrice Wright runs Bean on the Green cafe in East Parade, Heworth. During lockdown, she had to close the cafe during the day but sold take-out pizza on Friday nights.

Panto star Martin Barrass - comic sidekick to legendary York panto dame Berwick Kaler - was one of her delivery team.

A star turn

York Press: York panto star Martin Barrass turns pizza delivery man during lockdown at Bean on the GreenYork panto star Martin Barrass turns pizza delivery man during lockdown at Bean on the Green

Beatrice also donated pizzas every week to a family nominated by local youth club Door 84.

She said: "Martin did deliveries for me because his ex wife works for me. We would get texts from customers saying: 'Am I going crazy or was Martin Barrass just at my door!'

"One customer who ordered from me every week turned 40 so I got a balloon for him. Martin took it over and sang Happy Birthday to him. It was really nice to have him on board."

Martin said: "I'm so pleased and proud for Beatrice - this is thoroughly deserved! She always goes the extra mile for her customers."

Beatrice's generosity during lockdown was brought to the attention of The Press by Heidi Haywood of Door 84, a long-term friend.

If you would like to nominate a local trader that has gone above and beyond for its customers, tell us the story by clicking here.

Heidi, executive charity manager of Door 84 in Lowther Street, said Beatrice asked her to nominate a worthy family connected to the youth club each week to receive a free pizza tea each Friday for the whole household during the lockdown.

Meet our trader of the week

York Press: Beatrice Wright with one of her pizzas as her cafe Bean on the Green in YorkBeatrice Wright with one of her pizzas as her cafe Bean on the Green in York

She said: "That was in April and ever since Beatrice has welcomed a family to collect a pre-ordered selection of their choice of pizza and sides, even extending the offer to deliver if it was tricky for the family to come and collect. Purely from the goodness of her heart."

Michaela King and her family were just one of the many to benefit. Michaela said: "Thank you so much for the pizzas. What a lovely treat. We didn’t want to take them home, so drove to Clifford’s Tower to eat them. I can honestly say they are the best pizzas we have ever had! We will definitely be new customers at Bean on the Green when our finances are back up."

Beatrice said: "There are some needy people out there. I was only happy to give each family how many pizzas they needed to fill their tummies. They really appreciated it. It didn't take much for me to make some pizza."

Beatrice said selling take-out pizza during lockdown really helped keep the business ticking over, adding she received a grant from the council which helped.

During lockdown, she improved the outside area with new decking and awning. With appropriate social distancing in place, it has room for 25 customers inside and five tables outside for between 12-15 people. The children's indoor play area is closed for now.

Cafe is open again after lockdown

York Press: Coffee and cake at Bean on the Green in YorkCoffee and cake at Bean on the Green in York

The cafe has now reopened during the day, from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 2pm, for hot drinks, cakes, breakfast and lunches and is also be open again on Friday and Saturday evenings, with pizza deliveries available on those nights too.

And her verdict on being The Press's first trader of the week? "I'm delighted. I feel honoured!"

Would you like to nominate a local business to be our next Trader of the Week? Send us your nominations by clicking here.