Coffee, cakes – and cats – are all to be found at Proper Coffee House in Margate.
The High Street coffee shop is now under new management with former legal secretary and business manager Lucy Cook taking the helm.
The 30-year-old, from Cliftonville, initially spoke to former owner Jo Giles about taking a temporary barista job after deciding to ditch her 9-5 role in favour of a new direction.
It then emerged that Jo was planning to sell up.
Lucy, who runs the Missing Cats and Strays in Thanet group, said: “My friend said to me ‘why don’t you just buy it,’ so I did!
“I had been working myself into the ground and thought if I could work that hard for other people then I could do it for myself..
“I really like the social aspect and love that I can talk to people with no stress.
“My strength is in management and problem solving so I can deal with those things myself. “
But there was one major challenge to tackle when Lucy first took over the business in July. She said: “Before I did this I had never made a cake without using cake mix! I had never done butter cream icing and now I do it every day. It is nice to have all the basic ingredients and to just make things.
“We also do the best coffee in Margate and I thought that even before I owned the businesss. It is because we use expensive coffee with a really good blend.”
The homemade cakes and top quality coffee are the star attractions – alongside occasional visits from Lucy’s Sphynx cat Gary, who has his own facebook page ‘The Adventures of Garibaldi.’
Lucy said: “Gary likes it at the shop, he loves the attention!”
Dogs are also welcome in the café.
And there are plans for the future.
Lucy said: “I want to use the premises for things like the quiz nights I organise for Academy FM, meetings for cat and dog and other charities and I would like to do the garden for next year.
“I also have space at the back of the shop which I would like to use as exhibition space and for events for festivals such as POW! (Power of Women).”
The shop has a chip scanner, which Lucy uses to track down owners of ‘stray’ cats and has also been the venue for a Sphynx cat owners meet up. Members of the Thanet Animal Lovers Chat group also meet at the café around once a month.
Proper Coffee House is at 37 High Street Margate and is open 9am-4pm weekdays and 10am-4pm weekends or find it on facebook here
Fantastic, Lucy! Hope to get over there to see you soon. Xxx
Awesome. Well done Lucy, you deserve good fortune especially with all your hard work helping kitties. Good luck.