Church Stretton couple open up cafe

A couple from Church Stretton have achieved their dreams of opening up a cafe in the town.

Neil and Jo Blakeman, at new cafe and gallery Blakeman's in Church Stretton
Neil and Jo Blakeman, at new cafe and gallery Blakeman's in Church Stretton

Jo and Neil Blakeman, plan to open Blakeman's, a new cafe in Church Stretton, which will also feature local art and paintings, on August 31.

The couple said they were really excited to open up finally and hope Church Stretton can become a 'staycation' destination, and look forward to welcoming locals and tourists alike.

Neil said: "With many more people opting for a ‘staycation’ due to Covid-19, the Shropshire Hills are proving to be a hugely popular destination this year.

“Customers can quickly pop in to collect a coffee and cake ‘on-the-go’, which means we’ll hopefully minimise the inconvenience associated with long queues and social distancing.” Customers will have the option to eat in or take away, whilst observing social distancing rules.

Jo knows Church Stretton well, having been born and brought up nearby. “It’s a wonderful place – and it’s a real thrill to establish our own business so close to where I grew up. I expect we’ll be seeing a lot of familiar faces, as well as visitors to the area.”

Jo also stressed the values inherent to the new business. “It’s very important to us to provide high quality products but also ones which are eco friendly and ethically sound. A main aim of Blakeman’s is to support local businesses, especially start-ups or small ones, like us, as much as we can.”

Located at 54 High Street, Blakeman’s will offer customers a wide range of drinks including teas and an ‘exclusive to Blakeman’s’ freshly ground mocha java coffee supplied by local award winning barista and coffee supplier Danielle Hadley.

The coffee shop walls will feature original paintings by local artists Charlotte Fowkes, Cheryl Finnegan and Helen Antill, who all live in Shropshire. The pictures will be available to purchase.

Blakeman’s opening times are Wednesday to Saturday 8:30am – 4:00 and Sunday 10:00 – 4:00.

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