Sue and Louise at Pretty Things tea shop and vintage shop on how they got started
PUBLISHED: 16:34 10 November 2014 | UPDATED: 16:34 10 November 2014
Sue Melbourne and Louise Abbott opened tea shop and vintage shop Pretty Things two years ago in Horsham. Here, they tell us all about it
Louise Abbott grew up in Yorkshire, and was often taken to Betty’s Tea rooms as a special treat. “From a young age I always wanted to have a tea room – I loved it in there.”
By contrast, Sue Melbourne grew up surrounded by a family in the catering industry, as her parents ran a traditional transport café in a London park. “It would now be deemed the epitome of vintage,” she says.
It was a meeting of great minds when Sue and Louise met on the school run in Sussex many years ago and became firm friends. “And eventually the idea of opening a business together became a reality,” says Louise. “While thinking about opening Pretty Things we travelled all over the south, as well as back home in Yorkshire, trying out other tea rooms in order to create the perfect environment.”
Louise has a background in interior and set design, while Sue has spent a long time working as cabin crew on airlines, and has “a healthy obsession with all things vintage.”
“Pretty Things is going from strength to strength as more and more people discover Horsham’s best kept secret,” says Sue. “And thanks to all the positive feedback we are currently looking for a second shop, to expand our Pretty Things empire.”
“Due to demand,” she continues, “Pretty Things has now started a cake delivery service to local businesses and offices too. We have started a catering side to the business so that people can have an afternoon tea or corporate lunch whverever they are in the local area.”
The shop not only provides great homemade food but holds craft classes conducted by local crafters. They also sell hand-crafted products that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
“Horsham is a really exciting place to be at the moment,” says Loiuse, “and is becoming a foodie destination too.”
“We have such a supportive customer base,” says Sue. “We have young and more mature people alike in here – we even have some little furry dog regulars who love to come in for doggy afternoon tea.”
4 Park Place, Horsham RH12 1DG; 01403 257574; www.facebook.com/PrettyThingsHorsham
Open Monday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm, Sunday: 11am to 5pm