Couple to step down from popular Norfolk bistro ‘with heavy hearts’
PUBLISHED: 15:01 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:01 17 June 2019
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015
The owners of a popular Norfolk bistro said they are stepping down “with heavy hearts” after a difficult year behind the scenes.
Wife and husband team Kate and Simon Leeder purchased the Station Bistro, then called the Brief Encounter, at Wymondham train station in March 2011, in a move which Mrs Leeder described as "daunting".
The manager said the couple fell in love with the historic building on first sight and spent the next eight years renovating the large second dining room and outside patio.
She said: "When we first took over the café we pictured ourselves running a little tearoom, but it has more than 50 covers and constant footfall from the trains. It's been a really manic few years."
As well as taking on the new venture the couple continued to run their first business, Station Taxis, which they have owned for more than 20 years.
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Although still enamoured with the café, Mrs Leeder said the workload had become too much, pointing to long, anti-social hours and changes in their family life as the catalysts for selling up.
She said: "It's taken a long time to come to this decision and we have talked endlessly to get here. It's the right decision for us but I will miss the regulars and the staff and everything about the social side of running the café."
The family-of-four will continue to live in Wymondham and Mrs Leeder said she and her husband were excited to spend more time with her two children, aged 10 and 13, "before they are too embarrassed to be seen with us".
The leasehold sale is being managed by Norwich based Everett Masson and Furby with an asking price of £99,000 and estimated annual turnover in the region of £220,862.
Mrs Leeder said although the couple were keen to sell the business, they hoped it would be taken over by someone with the same passion they felt for it.
She said: "We don't want someone to come and throw money at it without caring about what happens to it. Hopefully they will carry on what we started and expand it beyond where we got to."
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