Exeter couple take massive step to open unique new café

-Credit: (Image: Mary Stenson/DevonLive)
-Credit: (Image: Mary Stenson/DevonLive)


An Exeter street most-loved for its wide range of independent businesses has welcomed some new faces into their community. John Creek and Lucy Charters have opened new café Creeks Cuppa on Fore Street.

The pair say they have always wanted to open their own café, both having worked in chain and independent cafés before. When John got made redundant from his job at Grow Coffee House, which closed earlier this year, he jumped into action to launch his own venture.

Lucy told DevonLive: "He's always wanted to do this so he put a business plan together, came up with this and here we are three months later. It is a massive step. We're responsible for everything now and I think that's the biggest thing; it's the responsibility for everything and getting our name out there."

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The coffee shop was previously used by Princess Nail & Beauty, who have since downsized to only use the unit next door. The place has been transformed into a modern café, where customers don't even have to order from the counter. Each table has a QR code that allows people to order food and drink directly from their phone.

There is also a children's play area in the back of the café. Lucy explained that they decided to include this to make the space more family-friendly.

She said: "We have a daughter and the amount of places we've taken her to like this to have food and drink and there's nothing for her to do so we wanted to try and appeal to families so they can bring their children."

Fore Street is a popular choice for any business owner looking to open in Exeter as it boasts an eclectic mix of new and old independent shops, cafes, restaurants and everything in between. Lucy says that their fellow business owners have been some of their best supporters so far.

She said: "We've had a quite a lot of support from the local businesses, coming in and getting their coffee and their lunch.

"It seems quite steady still even though it's day four. We've been in the coffee industry for years so we know busier times pick up towards the end of the week. So far so good."

The pair say the breakfast menu is currently doing well, including their daybreaker bap, which is packed with bacon, sausage, egg, cheese and a hash brown. Meanwhile, the lunch menu is still being tweaked as they get to know what's most popular.

Lucy said: "We've got breakfast baps, with bacon, sausage, vegan sausage. John's invented something called the daybreaker, which is bacon, sausage, egg, cheese and a hash brown all in one bap. For lunch at the moment we're doing ciabattas but we're thinking that may change. We also have bitesize bowls so things like mac and cheese bites, halloumi fries, mozzarella sticks with a little dipping sauce.

"It's very nerve-racking but it's very exciting at the same time. We've always wanted to do this. We both used to work in Costa as managers and you're limited in what you can do personally whereas here, if we want to do something differently we can. There's more freedom."

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