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‘It just went nuts’ - Norfolk coffee shop owner tells how business is thriving despite pandemic

PUBLISHED: 15:37 09 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:36 11 May 2020

Simon Nisbet is the owner of the Little Haven coffee shop in Norwich. Photo: Emily Thomson

Simon Nisbet is the owner of the Little Haven coffee shop in Norwich. Photo: Emily Thomson

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Despite an uncertain future for businesses across Norfolk, one coffee shop owner has told how his “Little Haven” is doing better than ever.

Simon Nisbet is the owner of the Little Haven coffee shop in Norwich. Photo: Emily ThomsonSimon Nisbet is the owner of the Little Haven coffee shop in Norwich. Photo: Emily Thomson

Simon Nisbet, owner of Little Haven coffee shop, in Norwich, said how he has “fallen back in love” with his business since the pandemic began.

At a time where small independent cafes and shops have been hit hard, Mr Nisbet has shown how his business is not only surviving but thriving as lockdown continues.

The 49-year-old said: “On the first Monday when they made the announcement that we were going into lockdown I thought what a disaster and it was quite upsetting really.

“I thought I would give it a week and see how it went if I just did takeaways and by the end of the second week of lockdown it just went nuts.”

And for the last eight-weeks, Little Haven, on St Stephens Road, has been just that for those still working and living in the city and in-need of a coffee fix.

From police officers to nurses at the local doctor’s surgery, Mr Nesbit, from Shotesham St Mary, has been delivering hot drinks and food to key workers across the city, with new customers calling up every day.

Despite never before running a delivery service, the former estate agent said they have had to adapt but he has “enjoyed” this new way of working.

Mr Nisbet said: “I think people go mad for coffee because it’s a bit of a social thing and it’s a bit of normality right now.

“A lot of people like the idea of having something to aim for at the end of their walk or halfway through.

“I have one guy who comes here nearly every day from Hethersett on his bike just to get a flat white and cycle home again and that’s his day.

“I have been selling shed loads of coffees, it’s got to be something like 100 hot drinks a day.

“I didn’t think we would do as well as we have been doing, I honestly thought it was going to be really tough, so I am really grateful.”

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But Mr Nisbet says it’s his customers, new and old, who have helped him to rediscover his passion for the job as the pandemic forces a slower pace of life.

He added: “I just hope it carries on after and people are more chilled out and not running around like lunatics.

“That’s what is nice about it, having more time to spend with each other.”


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