A LEADING businessman who is helping with the rejuvenation of the town centre hopes his new eatery will be at the heart of a new-look High Street.

Rob Ely is set to open a new cafe called Toast along with fellow owners Dan Pearson and Louis McNamee.

The new venture will be based in 64 High Street, Braintree - a stones throw away from Rob's award-winning restaurant, The Chophouse.

As the name suggests, the cafe will offer customers toast alongside more than 100 different spreads and toppings.

Hot and cold drinks will be available as well as toasties.

Speaking ahead of the launch on Saturday, Rob said: "A considerable amount has been spent getting the shop to a very high standard, we are hoping to capitalise on and be at the heart of the forthcoming town rejuvenation.

"With a menu very vegan and gluten free friendly we are hoping the coffee shop will create a new modern feel for the town.

"Yes it’s another coffee shop but it’s next to a Costa which often sees queues out the door so there is clearly a demand."

Rob is chairman of the Braintree Town Partnership organisation which has been seeking to galvanise businesses in the town and get them to work on plans to pedestrianise the town centre.

He is fully on board with Braintree Council's vision to ban all traffic and turn the town into a destination for visitors to eat, drink and spend time socialising.

Despite the growing competition among cafes and eateries in the town, he is hopeful Toast's unique appeal will make it a big success and will lead the way in helping to repurpose the town centre.

He added: "We acknowledge that the idea is new and to many a little bizarre, but how often have we all seen a simple idea and kicked ourselves that we didn’t think of it?

"We are hoping that this is the case with this otherwise we will be know as the idiots that tried to set up a toast shop in Braintree.

"We are very excited at the journey this may take us."