AN award-winning family bistro and cafe has changed hands after three and a half years.

Wunderley’s Cafe Bistro, in Market Street, Little Lever was opened by Derek and Ann Wunderley in the summer of 2016.

In the three years since, the cafe has become something of a community hub and the married couple have become well known in Little Lever.

Mr Wunderley said: “We’ve had a great three years.

“It’s sad because we’ve got to know a lot of people and they’ve become friends.

“We’ve been invited to christenings, funerals, we almost feel as if some of them are part of the family.

“It was Amy’s dream to open this place. He father was part of the anglers who owned the building, he passed away and then it came up.”

Mrs Wunderley added: “It was fate really.

“I got offered voluntary redundancy in my old job and then the same day this place became available.”

Customers were taken aback by the news and their response almost brought the couple to tears.

They say it is the right time due to issues with Mr Wunderley’s health and the couple had their last day in the cafe, last Friday.

“We put the post on Facebook saying that we were selling it when we were in Spain,” Mrs Wunderley said.

“We were virtually crying on the beach with some of the comments coming through.

“Since that everyone’s been really supportive.”

Mr Wunderley added: “We’ve loved every minute of it

“It’s sad but we’re selling because I’ve got a few health issues and it just felt right.

“We couldn’t ask for nicer people to take over. It’s still going to be a family.”

The cafe, which won ‘Best Family Business’ at the 2017 Bolton and Bury Business Awards, has been taken over by Alan Chadwick and his daughters.

Along with the new ownership, the cafe has been renamed to Village Cafe Bistro.

Mr Chadwick, who is a retired engineering manager, said: “It all seems to have come together at the right time.

“My daughter Shelly is qualified as a chef and I wanted to set her up with something to use her skills.

“I looked at a few cafes and this one just appealed to me; it had the right atmosphere, the right ethos.

“There’s not going to be any abrupt changes, we’re just going to continue as things are. It’s a family business and we’re going to keep it as a family business.”