Sometimes business owners come up with an idea that just takes the biscuit. And Claire Hearn’s vintage tearoom, Rose and Olive in Uckfield High Street, clearly chimes with local customers who prefer pretty and comforting to stark and modern.
Claire’s enterprise has now been noted by former Dragon’s Den selector Theo Paphitis. Last November Theo chose Rose and Olive as one of his Small Business Sunday (#SBS) winners on Twitter, where he selects his favourite six businesses from thousands which tweet him from every week.
Claire was invited by Theo to attend a prestigious awards event in Birmingham in February where she met the business magnate.
She said: “It was amazing. He was lovely and I was so proud to have been chosen. The business is very close to my heart, so to find someone of Theo’s stature admiring it was amazing and flattering. We feel incredibly proud to have won this award and to have increased both the visibility of our business and our presence in Uckfield.”
Rose and Olive opened last May and Claire found out she had been selected on the business’s six month birthday.
Claire, 34, who lives near Sevenoaks, explained how she started a mobile pop up tea shop business four years ago but the Uckfield branch is her flagship. “We chose the town as it’s just right for the kind of customer we want to attract. It’s gone amazingly well so there’s clearly a market for what we do. With perseverence, ahrd work and the right mindset, anything is possible, no matter how much you read about how tough it is to run a High Street business.”
Rose and Olive harks back to a kinder time with fine china, tablecloths, real tea and flowers on tables. As well as ‘vintage’ tea, lunches and brunches are served while Claire retains her bespoke outside catering business. This May they welcome back The Victory Vs to a first birthday celebration. Everyone is welcome.