Child friendly cafe closes in Great Yarmouth

A PAIR of enterprising women, who opened a child-friendly cafe in Great Yarmouth, have been forced to close after seeing their business fall into financial difficulty.

Dawn Webster, 31, and Lisa Smith, 40, were awarded �5,285 from the Big Lottery Fund to start up a family-friendly cafe where grown-ups could catch up over a coffee whilst their little ones enjoyed activities and toys.

But, despite having a batch of supportive customers, the pair have decided to call it a day on their inspired business after seeing their sales suffer during the recent recession.

Miss Webster, a partner in setting up the cafe at the St James Resource Centre – a converted church – believes there are still plenty of positives which can be taken from their experience of running the cafe.

“Neither of us are looking at this closure like we have failed,” she said.

“The amount of skills that we have learnt which we would never have had before is certainly something to be proud of.

“However, the biggest achievement we have made are the work placements we offered to people with special needs.

Most Read

“We managed to give these individuals responsibilities and the chance to experience what a working environment is like on a daily basis – that is something that will always remain close to my heart.

“I just hope other companies will now step forward and take over the mantle so disadvantaged people will still have the chance to understand what it is like to be employed.”

The women found their inspiration to start up their business after completing a ‘feelgood’ course at Gorleston’s Seagulls Centre.

The cafe looks set to stay open until Thursday. Meanwhile, the pair will also begin winding down their operation, which provides a buffet service for organisations and events.

“The first thing I want to do after we close is enjoy seven weeks off,” she continued.

“I think in the future I will feel more confident working on my own business – and I hope there might be possibility that I can continue to work with Lisa.”