2020 has been one hell of a year, especially for small businesses. Imagine working for years… putting blood, sweat and tears into starting and maintaining your dream business, only for coronavirus to come along and throw a spanner in the works.
The Steel Cauldron is a small family owned business, in Sheffield, that I have the pleasure of working for. Rob (aka Sir Bazil) and Nikki are the powerhouses behind this wizard-themed hidden gem.
Plans for the opening of The Steel Cauldron had to be postponed and changed due to the pandemic. When the doors finally opened on 31st July 2020, wizards and muggles alike swarmed into the cauldron.
After having a wizard-themed afternoon tea there for my birthday in August, I practically forced the Steel Wizards (yes that’s The Steel Cauldron family nickname!) to take me on! My experience as a customer there was that incredible!! I’ve not has a single regret since.
With the Covid-19 rules forever changing The Steel Cauldron has had to adapt rapidly. We started with Afternoon Tea and Children’s parties and then as things seemed to ease for a short while, we opened our tavern and started hosting weekly events.
The Cauldron managed to launch a series of different events for every evening of the week. Monday evenings were open mic and music night, followed by The Steel Quizards on a Tuesday. Wednesday’s was tavern night (perfect for Dungeons and Dragons players) with a pop up mead bar. The weekend evenings of Friday and Saturday were always perfect for ‘chilled-out by the bar’ vibes’. We then rounded up the week with Tales and Tunes on a Sunday night! It truly is a blast at the Cauldron!
However, we were then hit with the huge stumbling block that was lockdown two and following that came tier three… it’s been a hard journey but we always take on the challenge and continue to improvise to any situation that we are given.
The Steel Cauldron has now taken on a new lease of life as a Christmas market and Santa’s Grotto. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to maintain our online shop too! Even though we have had to change our action plan I have loved and continue to love every job that the Cauldron offers to me! I have definitely loved being an elf!
My personal favourite attribute of the Cauldron was our ‘Crafternoons’. Families of all ages joined us for afternoons of crafting fun. With pot painting, mandrake making and our signature wand crafting… what’s not to love! I have loved every moment of being a crafter, leading families with their mini-wizards and witches in their crafting journey.
Christmas has given The Steel Cauldron a fantastic opportunity, bringing festive joy to The Steel City. Santa’s grotto has brought families of all shapes and sizes just a little bit of extra Christmas happiness this year. One of those being Captain Tobias (star struck!!)
The Christmas market has given local crafters a chance to sell their goods in hard times. Visitors can support their local crafters and businesses by buying anything from a bookmark or a Dragon Egg by Anathar, to a collection of magical drinks from The Potions Cauldron.
In the future, we have hope to create an even more magical experience. We’re thinking VR, Lego, Masterclasses and more!
Whether you’re a wizard, a muggle or just a fantasy lover looking for a bit of fun, The Steel Cauldron really is the experience for you!
Over the next year or so, many more things will change. The cauldron will grow and adapt, but will never loose its unique spark. I recommend you head on over to The Steel Cauldron to join us on our adventure.
Stay magical and Merry Christmas,
aka Ashleigh Atkins-Brennan
(We have wizarding personas!)
Facebook: The Steel Cauldron
Website: The Steel Cauldron