Coffee shop for sale so 'stranded' owner can go home after lockdown

Ralph Wigg, Little Tuscany coffee shop East Harling, Norfolk

Leaving 'Little Tuscany' to go back to New Zealand...barista Ralph Wigg. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A barista who opened a coffee shop in Norfolk after being stranded more than 11,000 miles from home when Covid struck is selling up.

Ralph Wigg, Little Tuscany, East Harling, Norfolk

Ralph Wigg at his coffee shop, for sale. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Ralph Wigg, originally from Watton, got stranded in lockdown when he came from New Zealand to East Harling to visit his girlfriend last summer.

When new Covid restrictions made travel back home tricky, the ex-pat, who had always wanted to open his own coffee bar, bought a shop at auction.

He purchased the retail unit and flat in Market Street, East Harling, called 'Little Tuscany' last December and successfully opened it for takeaways only.

Little Tuscany coffee shop in East Harling, Norfolk

Little Tuscany coffee shop and a studio flat, for sale. - Credit: Danielle Booden

But because he's in the process of selling his house in New Zealand and travel is set to be easier with lockdown lifting - he's decided to go home. 

Ralph Wigg, Little Tuscany coffee shop, East Harling, Norfolk

Selling up to go back home: Ralph Wigg at Little Tuscany coffee shop. - Credit: Danielle Booden


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The studio flat and coffee shop is coming under the hammer for £120,000-£140,000 with Auction House online later this month.

It comes as the FL Edge butcher's shop in East Harling is also for sale, separately.

Mr Wigg said: "I love running the coffee shop but I need to get home. I came over to see my girlfriend Kate last June and couldn't easily get back because of Covid.

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"I'm a trained barista so thought I'd do here what I do in New Zealand so I am reluctantly selling. My girlfriend had hoped to help in the business but she can't commit to it at the moment because she has a frail 90-year-old mother.

"But the coffee shop has been very popular, local people have really supported it. When I was first painting the windows people would say 'what's it going to be?' So I asked people what they wanted and everyone said a coffee shop.

"I'll come back to Norfolk to see Kate and who knows? One day I may have a coffee shop again."

Little Tuscany, East Harling, Norfolk

Little Tuscany coffee shop in East Harling. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Wigg moved to Australia first from Norfolk, living for 10 years in Perth working in the wine trade before going to New Zealand.

Ralph Wigg, Little Tuscany coffee shop, East Harling

At work: barista Ralph Wigg at Little Tuscany coffee shop. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Bryan Baxter, auctioneer, Auction House, said: "This mixed use premises would make an ideal business opportunity or a sound investment. With potential rental income from the takeaway coffee shop and studio flat, it would offer great yields.

"The property has recently had some refurbishment...there is equipment installed to be a ready to go business. Equipment is by separate negotiations with the purchaser, if required."



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