Sudbury’s independent department store Winch & Blatch has fulfilled a long-held ambition with the opening of a cafe.
Called Winch’s, the restaurant has created four new jobs, with a total of nine staff.
Merchandise director Judith Blatch, below, said: “We have always wanted to have a cafe at the store and, now that we have one, we have fulfilled a long-term ambition.
“It has been very well received since it opened last Tuesday. It has fantastic views over Market Hill and St Peter’s.”
The store’s first floor furnishing department, part of the Grade II listed building dating back to 1320, has been transformed.
Being the oldest part of the building, Mrs Blatch said it was agreed that the beamed area, together with its five Georgian windows overlooking the market, would make an ideal spot to have a cafe.
The latest addition to the well-established department store seats 50 people and, as well as teas and coffees and cake, is selling lunches.
Cafe manager Sharon Game said: “We have a wonderful selection of cakes and scones, which are all freshly baked on the premises.
“But we are also specialising in light lunches, such as quiche and salad, and sandwiches. There are nine people working in the cafe and, of those, four are new jobs,” she added.
Mrs Blatch said the business would not be progressing with a bigger plan to connect the main store with its homeware store, also in King Street, with a bridge.
“That is on hold at the moment,” she said. “Given the main building is 14th century, and would require quite a lot of groundwork, we are not proceeding with it at the moment.”
She said planning permission for the store link would run out soon, and the business would be considering it again for the future.
Mrs Blatch said she was delighted to hear that Jane Hatton had been appointed town centre manager.
Mrs Hatton, of Prospect Hill, Great Cornard, is currently the project manager for the Sudbury Market Town Partnership, of which Winch & Blatch is a member.
“We are very excited about having a town manager – this is just what Sudbury needs, someone to bring everything together. We look forward to working with her.”