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Popular Norwich takeaway up for sale as owner looks to retirement

PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:09 16 May 2019

Urban Munch in Castle Meadow in Norwich Credit: Louisa Baldwin

Urban Munch in Castle Meadow in Norwich Credit: Louisa Baldwin

Archant

A popular takeaway in Norwich city centre has been put on the market, as its owner looks to retirement.

Matthew Kemp, owner of Urban Munch Credit: Louisa BaldwinMatthew Kemp, owner of Urban Munch Credit: Louisa Baldwin

After 10 years serving up its hog roasts, sausages and roast dinners, Matthew Kemp has decided to hand over the reins at Urban Munch, on Castle Meadow.

While he's not in a rush to leave, Mr Kemp, 61, has put the leasehold on the market as his focus moves to a life outside the kitchen.

Mr Kemp, who has been in the restaurant industry for more than 40 years and set up the floating restaurant at Riverside in the 1980s, said now felt like the right time to retire and, while he didn't yet have firm plans for the future, hoped it would involve some voluntary work.

He said, as the popularity of takeaway firms and social media grew, the industry was fertile ground for someone ready for a challenge.

Urban Munch Credit: Louisa BaldwinUrban Munch Credit: Louisa Baldwin

"I just want to slow down a bit," he said. "I've done 10 years here, mainly running it as a lifestyle business, Monday to Friday.

"If I was younger I would probably open it up more, I would look into websites and online delivery.

"It's a great spot - when Primark reopens and with all the new student accommodation things could be great, but it's too much now."

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He said he enjoyed the banter with customers, many who have become regulars, and said he would miss that camaraderie.

"I really will miss it actually," he said, "everyone is saying to me that I will miss it. My partner says I'll be bored, and that I won't know what to do with myself.

"But you get to a place where your body can't keep up, even if your mind wants to do more.

"Even though I have run it as a lifestyle business it is hard, I get up early and work hard, it is constant."

A few years ago, Mr Kemp scaled back the business, deciding to close on Saturdays.

"Most of my customers are office workers who come in often during the week," he said, "so it was easier to close on Saturdays - I upset less people."

But he was quick to reassure customers that, if and when someone new takes over, it would be business as usual.

"I'll still be looking after customers until the very last minute," he said.

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