Couple adds to ongoing food business by taking over popular cafe

A CAFE has been taken over by new owners as they grow their existing food business. Ian and Vickie Birch, from High Garrett, bought the Corner Cafe in Halstead, renaming it the Torsbeanie Corner Cafe. The couple already own the Torsbeanie Food Truck, which has been all over Essex after they launched the business 18 months ago.

They are sometimes joined by children Evie, 12, and Oscar, seven, to help on the truck at events. Ian said: “We have been running a food truck since around the beginning of the first lockdown, serving street food around Essex. “We have served outside local pubs that don’t serve food, have regular pitches on markets, and have even been to festivals.

“We regularly help charities like Mind, Helen Rollason and local causes too.” The name ‘Torsbeanie’ comes from Vickie and Ian’s nicknames. Ian said: “I have always been known as ‘Beanie’ and my wife ‘Tors’, so we simply mashed them together and here we are.

“We always had a dream of owning a cafe and being self-employed, and when we saw this one for sale we thought we’d just go for it.” The couple took the keys to the cafe on January 1 and said their official launch on January 3 was very successful. Many of the existing staff have been kept on, and Ian plans to make some changes in the future.

He said: “We want to change the opening hours and open on Sundays to serve a Sunday dinner.

“We also want to refurbish the kitchen and give it new appliances and ventilation.

“Long term we’d love to have another cafe but this one is our focus for now.”