New Norfolk café is selling out of its custard tarts and Nutella-filled croissants  

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth,

Ana and Fernando Batista have opened a new cafe in Great Yarmouth selling traditional Portuguese bakes - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

A taste of Portugal has arrived in Great Yarmouth in the form of a new cafe, thanks to a leap of faith by its owners Ana and Fernando Batista.  

The couple have swapped Portugal’s red cliffs for a swish new location in a town famous for its golden mile. And since opening a mere four weeks ago, Batista The Barista has had glowing reviews. 

Tucked away in the historic Heritage Action Zone behind Market Row, the café is a stone’s throw from the quayside. It joins the ranks of other successful Portuguese businesses in the town, something the couple is very proud and excited about.  

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth,

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth, serving traditional Portuguese food - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth,

Ana makes proper Portuguese custard tarts fresh every single day - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

“We had a similar business back in Portugal,” explains Fernando. “It’s our first café in England, though. It’s a proper family business. We’re helping each other within the family to make sure our customers get the best quality possible.”  

If it’s traditional Portuguese fayre you’re after you won’t be disappointed. As you would hope and expect, the menu is heavily influenced by their home country, and includes traditional custard tarts, biscuit cakes, Portuguese toast and strawberry cakes.  

Baked goods are made fresh every day by Ana. “The custard tarts really are a favourite,” says Fernando. “My wife does a full tray of them and they go really quickly.”  

The generously-filled croissants are proving most popular with their new customer base. Variations stuffed with Nutella, egg cream and dulce de leche are all quickly snapped up almost as soon as they come out of the oven. Not forgetting their incredibly moist orange Swiss roll, which also disappears within a few hours.  

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Their savoury offerings, including ham and cheese croissants, and meat and shrimp turnovers, are also going down a treat. “They’ve been very well received, and people have been trying and liking them very much,” says Fernando.  

The couple have lived in England for 16 years, working initially for Bernard Matthews when they first arrived. They’ve both had several different roles since then, leading them to the point where they are now. That said, Fernando is still a mental health worker in the NHS, and in-between his shifts with the crisis team at Northgate Hospital, pitches in to help his wife get the business up and running.  

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth,

A selection of the home-baked cakes available at Batista The Barista - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth,

Homemade Portuguese doughnuts at Batista The Barista in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth,

Eat lunch al fresco at Batista The Barista - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

For several years Ana worked as a self-employed parcel delivery driver, but when the cost of fuel increased and her pay stayed the same, it was unfeasible to carry on.  

It was around this time that the premises they stand in today became available. The couple decided to take the plunge and open their own business.  

It’s hard, but rewarding work. Ana wakes at around 5am to switch on the commercial ovens, and is baking by 6am. Fernando helps out first thing in the morning before setting off to his day job.  

“It’s my wife’s project, really. I’m helping her get everything going, but eventually Ana will run the coffee shop on her own. So, I have two jobs at the moment!” he laughs. “It’s only temporary, and soon she’ll be able to run things by herself.  

“I’m only planning on doing it short term,” he explains. “It’s not easy to set up a business, so I help and so does our eldest daughter, Patricia, who is 26.”  

“For quite a long time we were looking for a business here similar to the one we had in Portugal,” he explains.  “And we managed to find this little corner here.  

“It’s nicely decorated and we’ve done a bit ourselves too. We thought it would be the right time. Although the war in Ukraine is going on and there’s a financial crisis and everything, we felt it was still the way to go.”  

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth,

Batista The Barista has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth, serving traditional Portuguese food - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Batista The Barista, a new Portuguese cafe which has recently opened on Broad Row in Great Yarmouth,

One of Ana's specialities - a zesty, moist Swiss roll - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Customers can enjoy the classy, comfortable interior of the café, or for those who want to bring their furry friends along, there’s an outside decking area.  

Although the couple is opening, as they admit, during uncertain times, they are full of enthusiasm about the coming year, which includes the now fast-approaching summer season. This will see Batista open seven days a week to make the most of the holiday trade – 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 2pm on Sundays.  

They're confident that, bottom line, they can offer good food and drink at good prices, and once they’ve established themselves, plan on adding even more to their menu.  

“People like good coffee and good food,” says Fernando. “We’ve been getting really good feedback and repeat business, which means we’re doing something right!  

“We want to make sure we continue to keep up the standards and keep to the expectations we’ve set since we opened.”  

Find the café at Facebook.com/batistathebarista