New leases for Stratford Greenway's carriage cafes - The Stratford Observer

New leases for Stratford Greenway's carriage cafes

Stratford Editorial 29th Jan, 2024   0

A PAIR of railway carriages converted into cafes will continue serving cyclists and walkers along Stratford Greenway after securing new leases.

Bobby’s Café and Milcote Café serve visitors at opposite ends of the 5.3 mile trail.

And the innovative cafes will remain at their current sites for at least five more years after signing extended lease agreements with Warwickshire County Council.

The carriages have been on the greenway for around two decades, but both owners have been involved for less than three years.

Dave and Helen Spink, who live in Oxhill, recently took over the reins at Bobby’s Café and left behind their careers in the online retail sector.

It is the couple’s first foray into hospitality, and their teenage son and daughter are both also working in the café.

The café offers artisan coffee, curated menus of local produce, wine and hosts an array of events, from wine and whiskey tasting, to live music and film nights.

Dave said: “The business was previously run by three women and they have designed a unique destination for people that like something a little bit quirky and different.

“We’ve been running Bobby’s for over a month now with both children involved day-to-day, so it is a real family business.

“The new lease gives us a certainty and we hope that five years will lead to 10 years. Everyone has made us feel very welcome and we are looking forward to our future here.”

Meanwhile, at the other end of the greenway, Keith Cottam has been running Milcote Café since the summer of 2021.

He lives in Long Marston and bought the café after ringing up the former owner to ask if they had a job for his daughter. The father and daughter duo now run the popular café together.

The business has seen significant year-on-year growth in turnover since Keith took over and has benefitted significantly from the new homes being built at Long Marston.

Keith said: “I ran a café previously at Warwick Parkway but when the lease ran out there, I was looking for my next opportunity.

“It’s a really busy greenway and it’s a great place to do business. I’ve invested a lot of time and money in the space, including support from the council for more benches outside and a ramp for disability access.

“To have a new lease secured now is really good news. I have a few ideas for expansion up my sleeve, including an extension – which would be a waiting room of sorts for the railway carriage.

“The business is going in the right direction and it’s great for customers to have two cafes to visit at opposite end of the greenway.”


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