Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Coffee shop on track to open at former offices in autumn

A NEW coffee shop is due to open in Wargrave in late Autumn.

Nick and Sarah Hart, who live in the village with their daughter Izzy, are planning to open H’artisan Speciality Coffee.

The café will replace the former offices of Quantum Valuations and Talbot & Associates on the High Street.

The change of use application was approved by Wokingham Borough Council in February and renovations have continued ahead of the planned opening.

Mr Hart, who is a parish councillor, said: “The hope is to open in late Autumn, but there is a great deal to do and we are working extremely hard day by day to make this happen.

“It is not easy trying to become a retailer — particularly in this climate.”

The property, which is opposite Woodclyffe Hall, used to be a tea parlour and International Tea Stores in the 1870s.

Mrs Hart said: “I am a qualified nutritionist, my husband manages retail outlet developments and our daughter has a passion for cooking, so it made perfect sense to pursue our dream of opening up our own speciality coffee shop right in the heart of Wargrave.

“Our aim is to create a familiar and happy space for the community where people can feel at home to spend time, relax and enjoy each other’s company while creating and sharing memories.”

The café will be open from 7am to 7pm on weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and 10am to 5pm on Sundays.

H’artisan will be offering speciality coffee, as well as a variety of traditional and exotic teas.

It will also be serving breakfast and lunch options, with a selection of cakes and pastries.

Mrs Hart added: “We have found it sad to see the few remaining shops on Wargrave High Street close down over the years. 

“Wargrave has a unique community, creating a great place to live where we feel lucky to have many friends. 

“The Wargrave Festival is a prime example of how our wonderful community pulls together to create some fantastic local events where there is something for everyone.

“We intend to open at the end of autumn. Feel free to look through the windows to see the developments — gaps have been purposely left in the window hoarding for you to do this and there are even peep holes.”

The whole ground floor used to be a shop until 1986 when part of it was converted into a flat.

In 1994, planning permission was granted to change the remaining retail space to financial or professional use.

In granting permission for the new coffee shop, the borough council said deliveries must not take place outside of the opening hours, apart from on Saturdays when the acceptable window is 8am to 6pm.

There is also a condition that only re-heated or cold food may be served on the premises.

Wargrave Parish Council did not object to the application, but did ask for appropriate noise mitigation measures to be considered.

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