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Shop owners call for villagers’ support as new café and hub opens in Banwell

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:04 13 October 2017

Owners Katharine and Paul White with staff Anne Fitch and Emma Parkinson.

Owners Katharine and Paul White with staff Anne Fitch and Emma Parkinson.

Archant

A coffee shop with a difference has opened with the hope of boosting business in Banwell, offering a wide range of services under one roof.

Owners Katharine and Paul White in the coffee shop courtyard. Owners Katharine and Paul White in the coffee shop courtyard.

Katharine’s Village Coffee Shop opened in West Street earlier this month, packed with a variety of offerings with the aim of ‘getting the community involved’ and bringing fresh life to a village maligned for its traffic issues.

The hub is home to a café, off licence, barbers, green grocers and post office in line with demand from residents – and the owners hope it receives ‘the support of the village’.

The couple behind the shop are Katharine White and her husband Paul, who hopes the café can revitalise Banwell.

He said: “I got fed up with all the shops closing and going to housing, and unfortunately in the local area Banwell is only known for its traffic problem.

“This is the centre of the village and we want to regenerate it.”

Mr White told the Mercury the offerings at the shop have been moulded in line with demand from within the community, and he hopes it receives the backing of villagers.

He said: “We put it to the village and asked people ‘what do you want?’ They said they wanted a book swap, fresh vegetables, a bakery, and a post office.

“Everything they have asked for, we have incorporated here. It’s a hub for the village.

“At the minute all we’re interested in doing is covering our costs. If we can cover our costs, the doors will stay open.”

The café sources much of its products from providers in North Somerset, and hopes to support the village’s economy.

He added: “We’ve tried to keep everything local, so everyone employed here is from the village; the coffee is from a company in Langford called Carwardine’s, and the cakes are homemade.”

Mr White hopes local causes can benefit from the café’s facilities – including Banwell Buddies preschool, which has already been earmarked as the recipient of money raised from a wishing well in the courtyard – while other groups are set to use it as a meeting place.

He said: “Banwell In Bloom now hold their meetings here and the WI bring in there own jam to sell – we’re trying to get the community involved.”

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