It has been two years since The Little Teapot Tearoom opened its doors and its owners hope to remain open now lockdown restrictions have been lifted.
Based at The Old Girls’ School, one of the last historical building in Sherburn in Elmet, the tearoom prides itself on serving delicious cakes and coffee to the community and being a great place to host a celebration.
Tadcaster Echo decided to have a catch up with Dawn Jacques, who runs the tearoom, along with daughter, Faye, to find out more about how it all started and what they have been up to in the last few months.
Dawn told Tadcaster Echo: “From being a little girl I have had a passion for baking. My nana loved to bake and I was always keen to help her. Over time my passion grew and I decided that this was going to be my career path. I became a fully qualified chef and spent many years in busy kitchens until I had my children. I have always dreamt of running my own tearoom where my homemade cakes and bakes could be tried and enjoyed by all.
“When we saved The Old Girls’ School from potential demolition seven years ago, it was decided that a tearoom would be a great asset to the community. This got my cogs turning. With the support of all my family I decided to take a leap of faith and created The Little Teapot Tearoom. Faye, my daughter, has also grown up with baking around her and likes to have a dabble in the kitchen and try new recipes. However her passion is people, she loves to make everyone feel welcome and at home. I asked Faye if she would like to join me as I started my new venture and we have been an unstoppable team since.
“The name we chose for our tearoom is based around the nursery rhyme ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ which I used to sing when I attended The Old Girls’ School as a little girl myself. This makes our tearoom even more special to me. The last couple of years have been incredible, all our hard work has paid off and our little tearoom was really thriving. We thought from now on the only way is forwards, that was until coronavirus.
“When we heard the news that all pubs, restaurants and cafés had to close, we were devastated. Just as things were really taking off we had to close our doors. Not only did we have to deal with our own upset, we also had to break the news to our lovely customers and cancel their planned celebrations. Every conversation got harder as we knew how much they had been looking forward to what they had planned.
“Once we wrapped our head around things we decided to use this time in a positive way and concentrate on the future and reopening the Tearoom. It is fair to say our lockdown was no holiday. We put down our whisks and picked up a paint brush. Our little tearoom and furniture was given a fresh coat of paint, a very deep spring clean and we even added some new touches to the decoration.
“Since reopening we have been very busy. We have introduced a new takeaway menu as well as new tasty homemade cakes and bakes, the tearoom has once again found its buzz and we have a new positive outlook on our future. We have recently held an Alzheimer’s day ‘Cuppa for a cause’. What a busy day that was. We raised a total of £508 which just blew us away. None of this would’ve been possible without our customers, the support that we have received during this very strange time has been phenomenal and we will be forever grateful.
“Our second anniversary was a day that we had been looking forward to for many months. Luckily after lots of worrying, we got to celebrate our special day and was so relived to do so. We wasted no time digging out the birthday bunting to celebrate with our lovely customers. What a week we had, so much happiness, positivity and not to mention beautiful sunshine.
“We are so excited to find out what else will be in store for our little tearoom in the years to come. After all the challenges it has already faced I feel we can handle anything. Here’s to our next anniversary.”