A former headteacher has decided to turn over a new leaf with the launch of a plant and coffee shop in Ramsgate’s St Lawrence.
Keeley Wilson opens the doors to Foliage Plants at 7a High Street St Lawrence tomorrow (April 15) and says she is looking forward to a new adventure.
The Cliffsend mum-of-two worked in education for23 years, 18 of those were spent at Dame Janet Primary where she was deputy head before taking on the head teacher role at Luddenham Primary School in Faversham for the past five years.
The 44-year-old said:”I have been commuting for the last five years but decided to jack it all in and have a different pace of life after going through covid.
“I love plants, that’s my hobby and I decided to take it to another level. My husband Scott and I love the coffee and plant shops and so have decided to have our own.”
Keeley and Scott were married at St Laurence Church and she says it feels ‘full circle’ to now open a business where she can see the church every day.
The shop, which has previously been used as a florist and an exotic pet shop, now has eight seats inside so people can enjoy coffee and cake amid “a wilderness” of plants.
The budding entrepreneur said: “I have never run my own business before so it is all completely new to me. I have run a £1m school business but never something of my own.
“I love that I am learning new skills and am looking forward to meeting people in a positive way.”
As well as no longer being tied to a rigid timetable, the shop location means family is close by and Keeley is enjoying the extra time with her teenage children and both Scott’s and her own parents.
She added: “I want to be part of a small community at St Lawrence, it’s lovely as everyone knows everyone and there is a school across the road so I can still get my fix of seeing the kids coming and going!”
Keeley is also hoping the shop could be used by teachers for meetings and that she might be able to visit the school.
She said: “It’ll be nice to do things for other people and make those links. I’m really hoping for a good weekend although the shop looks so pretty I might not want to sell the plants!”
Foliage Plants will offer coffee, fruit teas, oat milks, plants, pots and gifts, The shop opens at 10am tomorrow.