V’s Café in Reepham has new owners: Oliver Barker and Paula Wonaszek took over at the end of March from David and Debbie Savage and daughter Gillian, who had run the business on Townsend Corner for the past four years
Mr Barker previously worked as a chef for the Colchester Inns group at a number of pub-restaurants in Norfolk, including the Recruiting Sergeant in Horstead and the Bucks Arms at Blickling.
Together with his partner Ms Wonaszek, who also has several years’ experience in the hospitality industry and is originally from Warsaw, Poland, the couple decided that now was the right time to own and run their own business.
The idea of buying V’s crystallised over several months following a breakfast at the café – and they quickly fell in love with the idea of working for themselves.
Mr Barker, who is the Savage’s nephew and attended Reepham High School, admitted that it made a nice change to have nights off, although there are plans to open V’s in the evening in the near future.
Since the couple took over, the café’s walls and ceiling have been freshly painted and the menu updated to reflect modern, healthier tastes, as well as daily specials alongside vegetarian and vegan options.
The kitchen is also being modernised and it is planned that card payments will be accepted soon.
“Any money we initially make will be reinvested in the business,” said Mr Barker. “We like the challenge of meeting and dealing with people, and we have already got to know our regular customers.
“But we will try and cater for everyone, as well as sourcing locally as much as possible with a commitment to quality.
“We are constantly getting feedback on what we can do better and aim to establish our own brand.”
Ms Wonaszek added: “We really want to make the place nicer and more intimate – as well as being a pleasant place to work. This could mean giving people a slice of the city – without having to go into Norwich.
“In fact, we don’t want to be seen just as a coffee shop; we want to make it more of a restaurant.”
V’s has been awarded the top five-star rating in Broadland District Council’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, and offers a 20% discount for students. The venue can also be hired for private functions.
It is already on a number of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and plans to open for the Reepham Food Festival on Sunday 27 May as well as for other local events.
- V’s Café, Townsend Corner, Reepham NR10 4LN. Open Monday–Saturday from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm. Tel: 01603 879300. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org