Cafe of the Year winner announced

JPCT 02-08-12 S12310382X Storrington, vintage rose tea shop and bookshop -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 02-08-12 S12310382X Storrington, vintage rose tea shop and bookshop -photo by Steve Cobb

A Storrington mum’s business has been voted County Times Cafe of the Year for 2012 by readers.

Emma Rose, 41, owner of Vintage Rose Cafe and Bookshop in Storrington’s One School Hill, set up the business on March 2009, and with the help of loyal customers and the support of the community, she is going from strength to strength.

She lives in West Chiltington Road, has two daughters aged eight and ten, and admitted that it was a balancing act running her own business as well as raising a family, as she bakes the shop’s cakes in the evening.

She said: “They are very happy to help and it gives them a good understanding of work ethic and it all works very well.”

Having been brought up in the area, she the moved to London before moving back to Storrington with her young family.

“My dad ran the Abingworth Hall Hotel in Thakeham and when I moved back with children I was looking for something to do within the hospitality business,” Emma explained.

“I’m really pleased to win the award because I have worked really hard, because it is hard work, and I have had lots of support from staff and customers, so it’s just icing on the cake for the last three years of hard work.”

The reader’s competition launched in August, with

As well as the children’s book store, they have the normal coffee table tops you would expect in any coffee shop, as well as gifts and local chutneys on sale.

Her staff have barista training to make the most of Fairtrade hand-roasted coffee and loose leafed teas supplied by the East Indian Tea Company, with all the tea served in vintage china, hence the shop’s name.

They also serve bespoke sandwiches and breakfast throughout the day, and try to source local produce wherever available, like Sussex Charmer Cheese and ham from Hutchings Butchers in Partridge Green.

“I’m helped a lot by my mum, Lynda Cunningham. That’s the only way I could work and bring up a young family,” Emma added.

“Storrington it’s a nice community and the shop is now quite relied upon as people come on a daily basis.”

Vintage Rose Cafe offer takeaway service to everything they serve, with some of the delicacies on offer including Hummingbird Cake, a mix of pineapple and banana, while their brownies, scones, and carrot cake are also quite sought after.

She added: “It’s hard to make any business work in this climate but it’s the positiveness that helps you continue.”