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Town cafe put up for sale as couple call it a day

Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts

Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts

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A couple who have run a town cafe for almost a decade have put it up for sale.

Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts	Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts

Sandra Merry, 57, and Peter Merry, 55, have been running Babaco in Watton High Street since 2010 after moving from Chelmsford, Essex, for a change of pace.

Mrs Merry had been working at Essex council but with both their daughters studying at the University of East Anglia the couple decided to take the plunge and follow a dream of running their own business.

But they needed a place were they could still raise their family while also running the business. They found the building that would become Babaco, which has a family home behind the cafe.

Mrs Merry said: "We had never heard of Watton. We had holidayed in Norfolk, but not Watton.

Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts	Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts

"When we came over there was no furniture as the owner had moved out six months ago with just the cafe at the front.

"Having the girls able to come back from university was lovely because they lived and breathed here and were able to have time studying while also earning an income to help fund their lifestyles."

Having raised a family as they entered adult life and successfully run their first business the pair decided it was time to move on.

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Mrs Kelly added: "The children have now left home but the main decision was last April my dad died. He had an operation in November 2017 for prostate cancer.

"He went in walking but when he came out he had to stay in a care home bedridden. He was still there in his brain but his body had just given-up.

"He had helped with the business and he loved it here. As soon as he passed I just haven't had the same spark and look at life a little bit different."

The couple have seen footfall decline in the town as high street stores have come and gone.

Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts	Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts

"Business in Watton has declined," Mrs Merry added. "When we first came here it was bustling, then, as the years have gone on with recessions, the government and Brexit, it's quiet.

"Afternoons are quiet with our busiest times in the morning and lunch time but the afternoon is dead, it's really weird. I have had to shorten the hours and make cutbacks.

"I have done as much as I wanted to here and I have left it ready for the next people to come in and add their mark to it."

Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts	Peter and Sandra Merry are selling their cafe Babaco in Watton. Picture: Marc Betts

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