End of an era as cafe owner hangs up apron after 26 years
- Credit: Archant
The manager of a north coast cafe has decided to hang up his apron after almost three decades' service.
Royston Young, 62, has been the face of Roy Boys, a cafe on Station Road in Sheringham, for 26 years.
While he has enjoyed the work, especially the camaraderie and banter with customers, the coronavirus pandemic led him to take stock of his life.
"It made me think, 'do I need to keep working?'' I'm 62. It's a young man's game, this catering. And then the lease was up on the cafe, so it was the ideal time to move on," he said.
He will leave the premises for the last time on Saturday, September 25.
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Mr Young was born in Erpingham and later moved to London, where he trained to be a chef and worked at the Tower Hotel, the Royal Edward Hotel and Grand Metropolitan Catering, before moving back east.
He was 36-years-old when he started his own business, taking on a roadside bar selling snacks to truck drivers in the lay-by on Pretty Corner in Sheringham.
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"It was great, it was just me. Then I felt later it was time for a change. That's when I got the premises in Sheringham and added more items to the menu.
"It was good. Life was easier without towing the van," he said.
One of the biggest challenges he faced was surviving the pandemic. Even before the lockdown, and being forced to shut up shop, the cafe had suffered a 60pc drop in trade.
"I've been lucky that I've had a good customer base which kept me going through the winters," he said.
"Before the pandemic, it was a social cafe. People could sit down at a table on their own and someone else would come in and they'd sit and chat.
"I'll miss the camaraderie and banter with the customers I met over the years," he added.
A man named Rob Grand will take over the cafe in October. He said: "I'm very lucky to be taking the reins from him.
"I was born and raised in Sheringham and it's great for me to be returning to the town I grew up in to start a new chapter in my career."
As for Mr Young, his immediate future will involve taking it easy for a couple of months. Beyond that, he hasn't yet made any plans.