A WARGRAVE family is hoping to breathe life back into the village’s High Street by opening a new community-led café.
Sarah and Nick Hart, along with their eight-year-old daughter Izzy, are planning to launch H’artisan Speciality Coffee Co in November.
And it’s not any ordinary cafe – it will be dog friendly and there will be a dedicated cycle storage area, too.
“We’ve been toying with the idea for years,” Mrs Hart said. “We’ve travelled across Australia quite extensively and have always thought that they’ve done coffee shops so right over there.
“When a property came up in Wargrave, we decided to just go for it and create this coffee shop we’ve always dreamed of,” she added.
“What we’re trying to create is somewhere for people to come that’s warm and friendly, and has great coffee.”
Alongside the indoor seating area, H’artisan will have an outdoor space for customers to use which will be dog friendly.
There will also be a dedicated space inside for cyclists to hang their bikes.
Mrs Hart’s husband Nick will be using his retail experience to coordinate the business side of things, and she plans to use her knowledge as a nutritionist to create a high quality menu.
“We want people to enjoy the food, and we also want it to be beneficial in many ways, too,” she said.
This will include the milk – a blend of Jersey cattle and Friesian cattle – which Mrs Hart says is great for digestion.
The menu may be small at first, she added, but it will have an emphasis on quality.
Alongside coffees, H’artisan will also be offering cakes and pastries, including vegan baked goods.
“I think there’s a misconception when you say vegan,” Mrs Hart said. “Non-vegans sometimes think vegan food is going to taste like cardboard, but that’s not the case at all.”
The cafe will stock a range of speciality teas.
“Not everybody likes coffee,” she added. “We’ve been doing lots of research and there’s some amazing blends out there.”
Currently, Mrs Hart plans to offer customers around seven or eight different teas, including berry hibiscus tea and a vegan tea called ‘chocolate noir’.
The Harts will also source food locally whenever possible.
“It all goes back to the community again,” Mrs Hart explained. “From a nutritional standpoint, food coming from field to fork is very important.
“And from a community perspective, if you can buy things locally you can support local people, and I think lockdown has taught us a good lesson in this regard.
“Because people have had to source locally, we’ve discovered the amazing local produce and why not give these people our business rather than the bigger wholesales?” she added.
And according to Mrs Hart, Covid-safety measures are on the menu.
“We are definitely taking the coronavirus pandemic into account,” she said. “We’re very aware of the Government measures and will make sure that they are in place in November.”
And it seems that the Harts have received a lot of support from the community in Wargrave already.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “The messages we’ve received have been so lovely, so it’s been really encouraging. We feel like we’re doing the right thing.”
To find out more about the Hart’s plans, visit facebook.com/HartisanSpecialityCoffeeCo