Tearoom finalist in rural business award ceremony

A village tea shop which was forced to close to undergo refurbishment after suffering flood damage has been rewarded for its owners' efforts.

Restored to glory - Leadenham Teahouse, now up for a Rural Business Award. EMN-180609-165542001
Restored to glory - Leadenham Teahouse, now up for a Rural Business Award. EMN-180609-165542001

Leadenham Teahouse was flooded due to heavy rain and blocked drains on the road outside on June 2. The business reopened on July 23 after repair work and a deep clean was completed and the owners Katie Mace and Kirsty Kershaw have been selected as finalists in the Rural Business Awards.

The tearoom and gift shop was opened to diversify and help sustain the village post office for the community, which shares the premises, run by the sisters’ mother, Karen Swift.

Katie said: “We are proud to be in the final of the Outstanding Diversification Project category with four other businesses.”

She said finding three inches of flood water in their shop had been devastating after three years of building up the business from scratch.

Katie said: “As a small rural business we have had to have resilience and bounce back quickly. It’s important to us to shout out that we are reopened and refurbished. The Teahouse is uniquely located within the village Post Office. It’s vital that we remain busy to ensure to survival of our Post Office here.”

It was also vital to be open in time for the Leadenham folk event on August 5.

She said: “We thank everyone for their support at what’s been a really difficult time for our family business. Staying positive has been key to a successful reopening.“

Joint Founder of the Rural Business Awards, Anna Price, said: “As judges we were really impressed with the drive and innovation shown by the mother and two daughters who set up this successful teahouse in order to secure the future of the village’s Post Office. Katie Mace and Kirsty Kershaw have clearly put their heart and soul into creating this highly successful business.

“Not only that, they are supporting local rural producers and are clearly very involved in their community too.”

The final ceremony for the midlands region is on October 11.

Katie said: “It is an honour to be at the same award ceremony with other category finalists including some industry heroes of ours, Belvoir Fruit Farms and Colston Basset Dairy who also supply us.”