‘They arrived as customers, but left as friends’ - owners of popular Newton Flotman restaurant bid a fond farewell as they prepare to close its doors
A popular village restaurant is to close its doors after 11 years as its owners begin a new chapter on the north Norfolk coast.
Rachael and Jeremy Parke set up Relish, in Newton Flotman, in 2005 and have since become well-known for their pizzas and al fresco cooking.
But Sunday will mark their last day of trading after a planning issue relating to the listed building made them rethink their future.
Though the family will remain in south Norfolk, the couple will join a family-run venture in Wells, taking over the cooking and front of house.
Mrs Parke thanked their customers, who she said had been 'overwhelmingly amazing' since they announced the news on their Facebook page earlier this week.
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'We have had so many messages of support - I well up reading every one,' she said. 'We didn't realise that we were so well thought of and had been in so many people's milestones.
'It didn't ever cross our minds - we thought we were just doing our job.'
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She said the last few weeks had given them the opportunity to think about what they wanted from the business.
'There is a huge difference between working in and running a business and it's made us realise that, actually, what we love is offering great food and being a part of people's celebrations,' Mrs Parke said.
'This is about us focusing on the parts that we really love - and it's definitely been a difficult decision to make.
'It's a farewell, not a goodbye.'
She said the last 11 years had been made up of 'great friendships and amazing people who arrived as customers, but left as friends'.
Dozens of customers have posted messages online wishing the couple luck, with many telling tales of birthdays, weddings and christenings enjoyed at Relish.
Their last service will take place on Sunday evening.
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