Vicki is known in Limpsfield High Street for owning the bridal shop. It was in business for about three years. Vicki said it was a tough business to be in and quite stressful at times so as she had the lease on the shop she started to approach locals about what else was needed in this little village. The feedback was all directing her towards a coffee shop.
This time last year Vicki put through the application to change the use of the shop into a coffee shop business and ran a clothing boutique in the interim. It was never in the plan at all but the clothing sold well and Vicki and her Mum realized quickly that it would be good use of the space if they were to use the space next door (was used as their sewing room) and the coffee shop and run two businesses and this is what has happened. So The Perfect Blend is a coffee shop with accessories, present ideas and unusual cards; next door is run differently and completely separately with the clothing boutique Joie De Vivre, stocking lovely garments to browse and try on.
Vicki and I sat and had a hot cup of tea this afternoon, it was so bitterly cold outside and I managed to choose the warmest seat in the shop! Vicki explained they offer coffee, tea, cake, panini’s and now a full afternoon tea. They want to stick with a limited menu but do it well. The coffee shop did not open till October 2016 for that very reason, “I wanted to do it right, from the beginning”. Vicki has plans to extend the lunch menu slightly by adding homemade quiches, salads and apply for a license (a glass of fizz with your afternoon tea) but that will be all. “I want to be different to the Costa Coffees and that’s all about the customer connection.” When a customer arrives in the door they will be offered table service and their food and hot drinks delivered to them, that makes us different.”
Mum runs the shop next door, Lisa was in the kitchen when I arrived and Vicki is there most days in the shop. It sounds like the whole family are involved and it works very well. So much so Vicki is expanding her clothes boutique into Reigate, so very exciting but busy times.
The kitchen space is limited here at the Perfect Blend. “We bake all our scones fresh on a daily basis, and banana bread which is served toasted with butter”. Vicki explains that all their beautiful cakes are delivered by a London bakery who work with small independent shops like this. They have a great selection of at least 6 large cakes served in slices and always have chocolate brownies. Vicki also tries to make sure there are at least two gluten free options. This afternoon there were Blueberry, Lavender and Lime, Coffee & Walnut, Salted Caramel, Victoria Sponge Ombre, and Lemon Drizzle Raspberry and White Chocolate. The Hummingbird Carrot Cake is also very popular however wasn’t available today.
The shop has a great mix of customers, young and old and cater for the children with a monthly ‘bookreading’. This is advertised through their Facebook account and draws a great following all enjoying a story and a delicious hot chocolate.
Future events are planned with some evenings with a glass of bubbles, sounds very appealing. Christmas wreath making back in early December was fun and very well attended and we have made this an annual thing.
The Perfect Blend is open 9am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday and includes Saturdays. “The only day we are closed is Mondays”. On Sunday they open 10am to 4pm. The shop makes a lovely cosy location to meet friends for a pot of tea and chat, pick up a last minute birthday gift (with complimentary gift wrapping provided) or to sit and catch up online over a large coffee and cake with free WIFI.