A popular family-run garden centre has officially opened its new cafe area after a major refurbishment. The Lime Kiln Kitchen at Thetford Garden Centre, on Kilverstone Road, boasts a lounge area with comfy chairs and sofas and a conservatory.
Shane Hinkley, who is business development and marketing manager, said the new cafe was part of a series of changes and upgrades to benefit customers.
The decor is inspired by travel and was the idea of Mr Hinkley’s wife Lucy Nixon, who is a company director and whose parents Paul and Jean started the business in 1982.
“We also have a lot of elderly people who come in and talk to people so we wanted to create a communal area.”
He added: “It is achieving what we expected it to. We have had a really good response from our customers. We feel our customers deserve an extremely nice place to eat. There is nothing like this around here.”
The cafe and restaurant is named after the road, Lime Kiln Lane, where the garden centre first opened before it moved in 1992.
A range of homemade cakes are available and meals include sandwiches jackets potatoes, with a roast on Sundays and afternoon tea.
The garden centre, which has a popular Christmas shop, gift and pet section.
This stage of refurbishment is not complete with a new decked area is still to be created outside.
Mr Hinkley said future plans also include an outside coffee station and stage area.
“There is more down the line,” he said. “We are planning to have another coffee shop which will be more quirky. The idea is to have a stage down the back to put on events and have local artists and bands perform.”
A play park and crazy golf area are also part of the future plans.
Mr Hinkley has called the new cafe a “labour of love”.
He added: “Our customers are so loyal and I think we are strengthening our place in the market and giving that little bit back to the customers.”