Husband and wife customers buy Castle Quarter's oldest shop
PUBLISHED: 14:50 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 07 December 2019
This couple liked stopping off for a winning brew at Norwich's Tea Junction cafe so much, they bought the entire business.
Jonathan and Alison Winter had been customers at Tea Junction in the shopping centre for years - and recently took over from long-standing owners Adrian Barker and Alison Burroughs.
Tea Junction, on the shopping centre's level 2, is a specialist tea and coffee shop selling loose and bagged teas, coffees from around the world, gifts and accessories, with a café at the front of the store. It started off life as a small pop-up in the former Castle Mall, shortly after the centre opened in 1993 before moving into its current location.
Mr Winter said: "We had been customers at Tea Junction for some years and really enjoyed the set-up, the products, what the shop stood for and its ethos and character."
"We had also wanted to get away from the mundane and do something for ourselves. We were looking around for a business to buy when, out of the blue, we got an email from a business sale company; one of the businesses on offer was Tea Junction. It must have been fate."
The Winters moved quickly and, after making enquiries and putting in an offer, they soon found themselves the owners of the business and started work. Mrs Winter's background is in the charity sector, while Mr Winter has worked in the oil and gas industry and neither regrets their change of job role.
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"I love tea; Jonathan loves coffee," said Mrs Winter. "We really enjoy the interaction with our customers, many of whom have been coming to Tea Junction for years. Our staff know the regulars well and often will know exactly what they are going to order. We enjoy welcoming new customers too who are coming to the store to find out what we're about. It's how it should be; friendly, good customer service, a warm welcome and a proper old-fashioned family-run experience."
The Winters kept the existing staff and have been keen to retain the Tea Junction ethos of old. Mr Winter added: "We don't want to change what already works: we have bought a winning brand. We have made a few changes with some new products, such as gluten, lactose and sugar-free and vegan ranges."