It is always a brave gamble to take on a new venture like running a café or coffee shop, but the new proprietors of the Sharmans Coffee Shop, Martin and Trina Johnson, felt it was a risk worth taking as Littleport Life Magazine caught up with this hardworking couple.
Martin’s catering background was working in management for a top pizza establishment in Peterborough, while Trina has been baking delicious cakes at home for many years now. They are both very happy to now combine those skills in providing a service for their clientele.
“It was touch and go whether we were going into this line of business,” said Martin.
“We were all ready to go with a new cleaning business venture having produced loads of leaflets, flyers and posters, but once this opportunity to run a well-established coffee shop came in, that was it! We just jumped at the idea. How could we turn such a fantastic opportunity down?”
“To begin with, we were pretty naïve, peeling loads of potatoes, cooking tons of gluten free sausages and making numerous cottage pies at home – because we just couldn’t gauge how many people we were catering for.
”We were wasting so much food, and naturally felt guilty throwing so much of it away, but now we are getting into the swing of it knowing what customers like. For instance, jacket potatoes are definitely now on the menu.”
Martin has taken on another pair of hands to help alleviate the piling up of dirty dishes plus tea and coffee cups.
The Johnsons knew that their new venture wouldn’t be an easy one what with so many takeaways, pubs and cafes serving cooked food already in Littleport, but they were determined to make a go of it.
Many tradespeople and building and construction workers who have been working on the three new schools and the Leisure Centre just a few yards away from them, are using their café.
In conclusion Martin told Littleport Life, “We are open all the week, but close on Tuesdays. And I think we provide good hearty breakfasts which are served from 10 am to 3 pm. This is cooked fresh on the premises by myself, while Trina conjures up many cake surprises to tease the taste buds.
“You could say we are continuing where AJ Caterers Café (who sadly had to close due to retirement) left off and carrying that tradition of a good fry up”, enthused Martin and Trina who came here from Peterborough and now permanently reside in Littleport.