A WARGRAVE family has been waiting years to open their community-led cafe, and the big day is finally here.
Sarah and Nick Hart, along with their daughter Izzy, are lockdown launching H’artisan tomorrow after working on the speciality cafe for more than two years.
Based on the village’s High Street, H’artisan is no ordinary cafe — it will be dog-friendly, stock a range of nutritious and naughty snacks, and has a dedicated bike cafe.
The family said they cannot wait to open the doors to the public for the very first time, even though it is a takeaway-only venue for the moment.
“This has been a two-plus year journey, and it has been a labour of love and passion,” Mr Hart said.
“And more so than ever at the moment, with a full-time job and homeschooling on the side, you can imagine fitting in the café work has been a challenge.”
After working in retail for 25 years, Mr Hart said he was taken aback by the amount of work it takes to become an independent retailer.
“To do it to a high quality standard is extremely time consuming,” he explained. “But we’re looking forward to opening.”
Mr Hart said he will be using his retail knowledge, while his wife Sarah uses her experience as a nutritionist, to bring the cafe to life.
Alongside the main eating area, H’artisan will boast an outdoor, dog-friendly terrace for warm summer days.
“The terrace is going to be a really, really nice place to be,” Mr Hart said.
The family have also bought the adjoining flat, which is going to become its very own bike café.
H’artisan is an official Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) Partner Cafe, so it can act as a community hub and meeting place for RCC members, who hail from across the world.
“This is a really big coup for us,” Mr Hart explained.
“Rapha’s products have redefined comfort, performance and style for cyclists from absolute beginners through to WorldTour professionals.
“It is very exciting to be working with the RCC.”
Cooking up a storm in the kitchen will be the cafe’s new chef, who is coming from London to work in Wargrave full time.
“He’s a chef, he’s a master baker, and he’s a barista,” the owner explained.
“Some of the food will be pretty nutritious, with nourish bowls and healthy winter porridge, but it will change with the seasons and of course there will be some naughty treats as well, including our amazing locally baked cakes.”
The Hart family said it has received nothing but positive feedback in the run-up to the grand opening.
“Really, this is about community,” Mr Hart said.
“You sort of get stuck into the process of setting everything up and you keep your head down, working hard.
“Then you see the feedback from locals, which is so genuinely heartwarming and encouraging and reminds us that Wargrave has a really unique community.”
While H’artisan is opening for takeaway only tomorrow, it plans to grow its services as coronavirus restrictions ease in the future.
For more information ,visit: www.facebook.com/HartisanSpecialityCoffeeCo