Shropshire Star

Family-run Bridgnorth coffee house overcomes challenges to celebrate 25 years in business

A coffee house which has battled through the challenges of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis is celebrating 25 years in business.

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Whitburn Coffee House in Bridgnorth was opened by Emma Rutter in 1998 and has since become a family-run venue, with the support of her daughter and business partner Emily.

Now it's celebrating a special milestone, and Emma says she's proud of how the business has managed to adapt and cope through adversity.

She has made the cafe into a strong business and said: "It's not been easy. In fact, it's extremely hard work, with a lot of long hours.

"Fortunately I have had a lot of support from my family and friends and, having a business which is open seven days a week, you need that backing."

"There have been some testing times, particularly since Covid. The pandemic was hard as we had to furlough our staff.

"My daughter and I stayed open and did take-outs and deliveries in the first lockdown. We adapted as best as we could and kept going to pay the bills.

"Since then, we have had to cope with restricted opening and now the cost-of-living, where everything we need to buy has gone up.

"It's a challenge with all that, as well as recruiting staff but we are coping and I'm proud of what we have achieved."

Emma said she had first taken on the business as a fresh challenge, having had no experience in hospitality.

And she says she's loved her job, despite the challenges.

"My daughter was 18 months old when I bought the cafe," Emma said. "I'd worked as a care assistant in a home for 12 years.

"It was something I decided on totally out of the blue.

"It had never crossed my mind before. I just saw it for sale and thought 'I'll have a go at it'.

"It was a brave thing to and I have been here ever since.

"We have some lovely customers. I love to chat to people, whether regulars or not and I'd like to say a big thank you to all our customers who have supported us over all those years.

"My husband Ian has been such a fantastic support too, as well as my family and friends."