For sale: Norfolk’s very own 1956 double decker turned quirky vintage café
PUBLISHED: 09:54 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:55 09 February 2018
This is one bus you really do want to catch! Blakey’s is a 1956 Lodekka double decker which has been converted into a tea room which has been serving afternoon cakes and brews on the Common, Mulbarton, Norwich, since it opened in 2016.
The bus was originally used to transport children to and from school before being converted into a driving training vehicle.
Following preservation by a bus enthusiast in 1999, it was sold as a smoking shelter for a pub in 2010 and later fell into complete disrepair. But then Rachael Ives and Sam Smith took it on and converted it from a rusty discarded vehicle and converted it into a café, opening in March, 2016.
They now want to move on to other ventures and the bus, all the equipment and the rights to lease with the local authority is for sale for in the region of £175,000 with Attik Property Services.
Kate Mamo-Lewis, who runs Attik with Samantha Withers, said: “This is certainly a quirky ‘property’ but we love it - on the ground floor is a fully functioning kitchen and a small seating area. “Above, the bus has been converted with seating for around 25 people, furnished to look like a country tea room.”
Owner Rachael said: “For years I drove through Mulbarton or stopped and walked the dogs on the common and wondered why there wasn’t a café there. The beautiful scenery is here to be enjoyed and it seemed such a shame that a park bench and a flask was the only way to do it.
“When I moved here in 2013 it seemed to be the most common question on residents’ lips. But it was obvious that premises were limited as they were all filled with long established businesses. The heart of the village is the beautiful common and this seemed the ideal location but being a conservation area the prospect of constructing a brick building was all but impossible.
“In 2014 the village plan had just been produced and the provision of a coffee shop was the top request from residents. So after some careful planning and research and a lot of conversations with councilors, trades people and planning officers the concept of Blakey’s was born.”
Visitors have come and sampled the home baked cakes and afternoon tea at Blakey’s from all over the world so it’s hoped a new owner will be found to keep the service going.
“The overnight success of Blakey’s has opened the doors to new opportunities for us and we now feel it is time to pursue those and allow someone else to drive Blakey’s onto the next level. We already have a private hire and outside catering service and our vintage ice cream bike is a huge summer hit,” said Rachael.
“For someone looking for an established business with a loyal and ever-growing customer base this should certainly ring their bell and it’s the only four Michelin tyred café I know.”
All pics courtesy of Janie Richardson, bigphatphotos.co.uk. Contact Attik Property Services on 01362 694 800, email firstname.lastname@example.org www.attikpropertyservices.co.uk