Café for Froghall Basin

Published: Monday, 20 March 2017

THE old building at Froghall Basin at the southern end of the Caldon Canal has been turned into an attractive café by a local entrepreneur.

It was Sarah Hirst and Peter Moore from Canal & River Trust who have worked to upgrade the area and find a new tenant for the former corn store warehouse, finally arranging for Emma Atkinson, who saw its potential, to convert it into a café and gift shop. In the picture, Sara, Emma and Peter.

Family affair

And for those who want to stay in the area, even holiday accommodation for rent upstairs. And she has also arranged for a new trip boat to operate from the wharf, making the whole area into an attractive visitor destination.

It is a real family affair, with Emma naming the café after her 92 years old grandmother Hetty, and her mother running the gift shop, with Emma explaining:

Worked hard with the Trust

"My nan Hetty is my recipe for success so I have named the tea shop after her. I found out we had secured the lease about 15 months ago and since then we have worked hard with the Trust, architects and surveyors to get the building ready to be open in time for Easter this year.

"My vision was to be sympathetic to the original building but at the same time incorporate stylish, modern furniture to give the interior a warm, cosy feeling for visitors.

"Froghall Wharf was once a thriving hive of industry. You can still see evidence of the lime kilns and a railway track. I have long admired the place and it is wonderful to be instrumental in making it into a buzzing tourist destination."

Fantastic job

Sarah Hirst, Property Surveyor with the Canal & River Trust, enthused:

"Emma has done a fantastic job of creating a modern, attractive café, shop and holiday accommodation. The transformation has been incredible. The Trust works hard to make the most of all our unusual canalside buildings. Our aim is to celebrate our rich waterway heritage by supporting sensitive restorations and finding new 21st century uses for these wonderful structures.

"We have worked closely with her every step of the project, including creating a new pathway to the building. This was very much a collaborative project and we wish her the best of luck with her new business when it opens at Easter."

Hetty's Tea Shop is due to be open six days a week, Tuesday to Sunday and the trip boat will operate on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.