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Coffee shop is reopened as new community café

PUBLISHED: 15:01 13 January 2015 | UPDATED: 15:01 13 January 2015

Rachel and Toby Thomas open The Community Cafe at Poringland Community Centre. Pictured with Parish Council chairman John Ellis.  Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Rachel and Toby Thomas open The Community Cafe at Poringland Community Centre. Pictured with Parish Council chairman John Ellis. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

The people of Poringland have reason to celebrate following the reopening of the community centre's coffee shop.

Many expressed their sadness towards the café’s closure in December under former ownership as The Frog On The Pond.

But experienced caterers Toby and Rachel Thomas have come to the rescue after reopening the coffee shop as The Community Café.

Owners of Toast Catering, Mr and Mr Thomas have worked together in the catering industry for 11 years with The Community Café presenting itself as their business’ latest addition.

Mr Thomas said: “We live locally so it made sense. We aim to provide what people want – good quality food at a sensible price in a relaxing environment.”

Having only confirmed their partnership with the Poringland Parish Council on Friday, yesterday’s opening proved difficult to pull off.

“We spent the weekend learning how to make different types of coffee,” the 36-year-old joked.

The opening day, he explained, was all about experimenting with the rest of the week, Mr Thomas hoped, being a lot easier.

Despite the pressure, the caterer was pleased to report that the day was a great success, with a lot of business and many satisfied customers keeping them busy.

The café is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 2.30pm, with Mr Thomas stating that there are plans to expand the café’s range of services to include a monthly pop-up restaurant.

Chairman of Poringland Parish Council, John Ellis, said: “I am delighted that Toast have come on board with us, and we very much look forward to working with them to provide this valued community facility.”

The Community Café sources its meat and vegetables from local businesses when possible, with all food made fresh on the day.

The caterer explained that profit is minimal and that the café, so aptly named, really is all about providing for the community.

Do you have a story to tell us? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk, locallife@archant.co.uk or call 01603 772684.

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