A SMALL business owner has gone from struggle to success as she prepares to move into her new premises.

Nicola Littlejohn, from Sible Hedingham, revived her tea room business which was set to shut down due to planning permission issues with Braintree Council.

Her Violet the Vintage Caravan tea room was originally run from the driveway of her home, before a planning application for the business was denied due to issues including parking.

The mum managed to acquire a new base at the White Lion Pub in the village for a short time, before moving on from there.

She said: “I left the pub and moved into the village hall for a little while, but someone complained again, saying you can’t run a commercial business from a community building.

“The vast majority of my customers are elderly, and we were going to apply to the Government for a 'hot spot' where the building would be heated and I would be there with food, just as somewhere for them to go.

“I wanted to stay until March and get through the winter at least, but the council refused again.”

She is now preparing to move into the Stone Yard Pantry in Sudbury.

She said: “My daughter saw the Stone Yard Pantry owners saying the people in there were leaving, so I responded and will be moving in on January 4.

“It is like a little sandwich bar with some seating inside and out, but we predominately deliver to industrial sites and do walk-ins.

"Some of my customers also said they would come and visit which is nice.

“We open on January 4, and it just feels like a great opportunity and a nice relief to know I don’t have to answer to anyone or wait for someone to close me down, and the hours suit my family needs so I can continue to support my son.

“I hate moving away from Sible and, hopefully, something can come back in the future.

"That is why I haven’t called it Violets as that is the tea room, and if I can ever reopen that then great.

“But I am really looking forward to it.”