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Dereham shop offers a ‘little bit of naughtiness’

06:00 21 January 2014

Nancy Ashley has opened The Choffee Bar on Aldiss Court in Dereham Town Centre. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Nancy Ashley has opened The Choffee Bar on Aldiss Court in Dereham Town Centre. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

For the past 10 years the pain has been so bad for Nancy Ashley that she thought she would never work again.

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But when her disability benefit was stopped, the mum of one decided she needed to find a way to pay the bills and started her own business – The Choffee Bar, in Aldiss Court, Dereham, selling fine chocolates, coffee and other home-made sweet treats.

Ms Ashley, 50, suffers from a chronic pain disorder called fibromyalgia which left her house-bound and unable to sit or stand for long periods of time.

But since she moved to mid Norfolk from Scotland, the former gardener says she has found ways to cope with the condition.

After taking a course in making the perfect chocolates, Ms Ashley put her love of organic coffee and delicious sweets to good use.

“I love working,” she said. “To have opened a business during the recession is great.

“In my shop I am offering decadence and a little bit of naughtiness.

“When people come in to the shop they are coming into my kitchen, into my home.

“I always hated taking state money, it’s not my bag, but needs must.”

A month after opening and Ms Ashley has said she has attracted those with a sweet tooth and has had strong support from friends and neighbouring businesses.

Do you know someone who has turned their fortunes around in the face of adversity? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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