New cafe selling pastries and sourdough pizza opens in NR3

Rihanna Royall, owner, and Julian Richards, manager, at The Shack on Waterloo Road in Norwich. Pictu

Rihanna Royall, owner, and Julian Richards, manager, at The Shack in Waterloo Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

A new cafe is hoping it will go beyond selling pastries and homemade pizza to become a real community hub in the Silver Triangle.

The Shack has thrown open its doors this week in what was Ellen's Florist in Waterloo Road.

The business is owned by Rianna Royall, 28, who will run it with her long-term partner Jules Richards, 52.

As well as serving breakfast rolls, cakes, pastries and coffee, the business will sell homemade sourdough pizzas, olives and other Mediterranean treats.

Pastries available at The Shack on Waterloo Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

Pastries available at The Shack in Waterloo Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Miss Royall, who used to run Royall's fish and chips on Castle Meadow, said she wanted The Shack to be a place where people can open up, having trained as a mental health first aider last year.

She was inspired to learn the life-saving skill after seeing a young relative of Mr Richards struggle with their mental health.

Miss Royall said: "I wanted to help people, and I hope they'll open up over a coffee."

The former pub worker said it made a difference if people spoke about their struggles and was keen to work with Christ Church, opposite the cafe, on helping people who needed mental health support.

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Mr Richards will manage the cafe said it had always been a dream of Miss Royall to own a little pastry and coffee shop.

He added that the new venture allowed them to pivot to serve takeaway pizza, food and drinks if there were to be another lockdown.

The pair had to close the fish and chip business last summer after just a year of trading because of the loss in trade from office workers and older customers during the Covid lockdown.

But Mr Richards added he was confident in the new cafe location and said it was busy from the moment the doors opened on November 2.

"NR3 is an up-and-coming area. It is like a little Shoreditch. There are some lovely pubs here," said Mr Richards.

Julian Richards, manager at The Shack on Waterloo Road in Norwich, making a coffee. Picture: Daniell

Julian Richards, manager at The Shack in Waterloo Road in Norwich, making a coffee. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

He added he only heard about the space from the husband of Ellen Hunt, who owns Ellen's Florist and now runs the business from her home, while cutting his hair.

The site is open Wednesday to Saturday, 7am to 5pm, and a premises licence application to serve alcohol has been submitted to Norwich City Council. 

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