It's no big secret that ace Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is lovingly called CR7 by his committed fans. Riyas Mechery, a self confessed admirer of Ronaldo didn’t have to wrack his brains for a name for his bakery and cool bar that he runs near the Pulapetta panchayat stadium at Manjeri - Areekode road. It must be an amazing coincidence that Riyas’ CR7 Coffee Hub faces a football ground.
The bakery that was closed during the lockdown period is now open and Riyas is busy serving refreshing juice and tasty snacks to his customers.
Meanwhile, Riyas was thrilled to see his favourite star score a double for his national team against France in the group stage match in the ongoing Euro Cup. Riyas who had played in a seven’s football team in his native place had migrated to Kuwait to earn a better living. He worked as a chef there and played football with his friends during his off days. However, he returned home around five years ago to open a business of his own.
He opened a bakery called Hygiene at Njavalikkal where he sold tea and snacks. Two years ago, Riyas expanded the bakery and transformed it into a chic coffee hub to attract more customers. That was the time when Cristiano Ronaldo had amazed the world with his sensational 8 feet leap to score a header goal against Sampodria in the Italian Serie A. Riyas was so impressed by the goal that he didn’t think twice to name the newly added façade area, CR7 Coffee Hub.
When footballs games are held in the ground, Riyas’ café too would be crowded with spectators and football fans. As Riyas had hoped, many customers come to the café as they are curious to know more about the name. Riyas says that many Messi fans had expressed their displeasure too. However, everyone would forget about the rivalry when they enjoy the delicious kebabs and juices here. Riyas hopes that his business would flourish, just like Ronaldo races on the field, when things get back to normal after the pandemic.