New cafe with 'quirky' vibe enjoys busy first day
PUBLISHED: 18:37 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:06 25 April 2019
A family-run cafe has enjoyed a busy first day full of positive feedback about the colourful "quirky" vibe and home-made food.
Deja-Brew has opened in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, adding to the mix of shops in the popular high street.
Ray Clarke, a 59-year-old offshore logistics supervisor and his wife Lyn, 57, have spent months working on the former sandwich shop, drawing on the experience and expertise of family and friends who have worked in the sector.
As novices Mr Clarke said it had been a steep learning curve but everything had come together on the opening day, Wednesday April 24, with customers appreciating the quality food, all home-made on the premises.
He said the 22-seat cafe was going for a “quirky” and “rustic” look with reclaimed timbers and colourful, mismatched crockery.
The couple's daughter, Megan, 18, will also work at the cafe during college holidays.
He said the cafe added “something different” to Gorleston high street which was “buzzing.”
“I was looking at somewhere near the college, but that didn't work out,” he said. “Then this came up for a reasonable price and with Gorleston high street buzzing the way that it is I could see the potential.
“The majority of our food is home-made even down to the pitta breads, sauces and dips - that was important to us and we definitely wanted to be able to have a drink.”
The cafe can serve alcohol from 9am to midnight and is hoping to stage themed evenings and afternoon teas with wine and prosecco.
Of the opening day he said: “Everything has been so positive. We have been packed.”
In fact the only complaint was about sandwiches being too big, he added.
The opening hours are 7.30am to 4.30pm with students and NHS workers receiving 20pc discount.
Helping Mrs Clarke at front of house is Melissa Cooper with chef Lisa Frosdick, formerly of Champagne Charlies in Great Yarmouth, in the kitchen with Honor Leech.
A veggie alternative is offered for every meat dish.
In time the couple hope someone will step in to take over the day-to-day running as they ease into retirement.
Mr Clarke said among those who had helped were old school friend Kenny Child and his catering consultant business KC Consultancy and Karen Skippen a family member with vast experience in front of house management.