Independents’ Day with Full of Beans Café, Honiton
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:23 11 September 2018
Harriet Spence explains why she opened the Full of Beans café
Please introduce yourself
My name is Harriet Spence and I am the owner of Full of Beans family café in Honiton.
I have lived in Devon all my life and moved from Yacombe to Honiton when I was 16.
I previously worked at a local primary school for 10 years, first as a teaching assistant and then trained through the open university to become an early years practitioner.
I have two young children who were part of my inspiration for Full of Beans.
What made you decide to become an independent trader in Honiton?
After visiting a child friendly café on a family holiday to Scotland, I was inspired to see if I could open a family café in Honiton.
I have always wanted to work for myself and fancied a change of career.
Having young children I realised conventional coffee shops and cafés don’t cater for young children who can’t sit still.
As a parent, you are continually having to keep them amused and quiet so not to disturb others.
I wanted to create a café where children can play and don’t have to sit still.
I have used my experience of working with children and families to try and provide an exciting, fun, vibrant and relaxing place for adults and children.
The former methodist chapel was a perfect venue, but was in a bad state of repair so a lot of work went into renovating it.
It is rewarding to bring the building back to life and part of the community again.
How do you see your business faring over the next five years?
Having only been trading for a little over six months, I am hoping to see the business grow, go from strength to strength and really become part of the community.
We currently open five days a week and I would like this to become six.
I want to provide events for celebrations such as Easter, Hallowe’en and Christmas.
The ultimate dream would be to open another café in an East Devon town.
What advice would you give anyone else setting up independently?
Research, research and then research some more!
Take your time and know your market.
There were many things that popped up that I had never thought of when taking on the project.
You need to be patient, as things like planning can take a long time.
A willingness to change and adapt your practice is a must, listen to your customers needs and wants and try to fulfil them to the best of your ability.
Most of all have fun and enjoy it.
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