A CAFÉ owner is celebrating a successful first year in business after taking over a popular town centre venue.

Ian and Vickie Birch, from High Garrett, bought the Corner Cafe in Halstead, renaming it the Torsbeanie Corner Cafe.

The couple began their food ventures with the Torsbeanie Food Truck, which they have been running since the beginning of the first lockdown.

The pair took the keys to the cafe on January 1 last year, with the official launch on January 3.

Ian has reflected on the year, saying: “It has been a good year, very exciting, very positive, we have built up a lovely rapport with regulars and groups who visit us often, and it is nice to see different ages and groups come and go.

“The support we have had from Halstead has been lovely, especially the pay-it-forward board.

“People can buy a meal and put it on the board, so someone else can come and eat for free.

“You can have people who might not ever eat out come and enjoy that feeling.”

Mr Birch also said the year did have some struggles.

“There have been far more challenges than I thought, it has been a lot more intense, we have still been running the food truck and it has been very busy but a really good year of business for both.

“We did have a break-in incident and a smashed window another time, which was frustrating too.”

Now, the couple are looking forward to 2023, excited for what the future holds.

Ian said: “We have just added a Just Eat option and are looking to continue to grow.

“Outside seating will come back when the weather improves too.

“We are just hoping to build on what we have been doing and have a good 2023.”