Deal living room turned into the town's newest tearoom
A NEW tearoom overlooking Deal Castle is set to open later this month despite the national gloomy economic picture.
Ema Rowlinson has converted her own living room in Deal Castle Road into Keephouse Tearooms.
The owner says she is excited by her new venture, and the idea came after she realised her house had an unused room that could be used for business.
Ema, who also runs her own model agency, said: "We moved down here from Surrey and we bought a house that we just couldn't fill up, so I had this mad idea one evening to turn our living room into a tearoom.
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"I run my businesses now and I am fairly happy with the way it runs and so it was decided that it was a good idea to have a lovely tearoom.
"I thought it was something quite lacking in Deal. The feedback that we've had from people we know, as well as those that we don't, is that they are excited for us to open our doors."
The conversion cost thousands of pounds and it is planned to open Keephouse in time for the Diamond Jubilee weekend.
The tearoom, which will sell high-end teas and cakes, will have a 1950s jukebox and local artwork on display.
The business hopes to employ one member of staff but could eventually hire more people, dependent on its success.
Ema said she thought Deal was the perfect town in which to set up a new business as the town had coped well with economic pressures.
She said: "We've only been here for three years but the people we've spoken to think that Deal has avoided the recession pretty well. No town has avoided it completely, but it could have been a lot worse here."
She admitted the tearoom will have a "soft launch", with word of mouth being crucial to the business's success.
The 40-year-old said: "We're just going to go with the flow. We hope people will enjoy the food, enjoy the atmosphere and, most importantly, feel comfortable."
Peter Varrall, chairman of Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade, welcomed the opening and said business is booming in the town despite the economic downturn.
He said: "Any new business in the area is good and obviously people are recognising that we are an up-and-coming area."
"We have a got quite a diverse range of shops and although some shops have closed, others have opened in their place. The future is bright for Deal."