INNOVATIVE plans to open a coffee house in a cemetery are rapidly taking shape, with its doors to open in the New Year.
Hartlepool Borough Council is transforming the Stranton Cemetery Lodge building, in the Tanfield Road cemetery, into a new cafe.
The new attraction is a key element of the Inspirations Coffee House and Garden Centre development on the site of the council’s existing Stranton Garden Nursery, which is adjacent to the cemetery.
The redevelopment scheme is part of the council’s strategy to generate additional income at a time of unprecedented Government budget cuts.
The new coffee shop, which is costing £280,000, is expected to open in either February or March and is set to create between six and eight jobs.
The new jobs, some of which could involve a job share, include the posts of supervisor, catering assistant and kitchen assistants.
Chris Wenlock, parks and countryside manager, said: “We aim to create a high-quality venue that offers customers the best-tasting coffee in the area in a welcoming and relaxed setting.
“We will be using the best ingredients and the espresso-based coffee drinks will be prepared by experienced coffee house baristas following strict preparation guidelines.
“We are looking to recruit a really enthusiastic team of staff which shares our vision and passion for providing a service that is second to none in Hartlepool.
“The satisfaction of our customers will be paramount, and excellent customer service will be at the heart of this.”
For customers who like to grind and prepare coffee at home, Inspirations Coffee House will also be selling coffee beans from across the globe.
A range of other products will be on sale too, including teas, iced drinks, cakes, pastries, sandwiches, paninis and seasonal specials.
Following the opening of Inspirations Coffee House, further phases of the re-development scheme will include a new Inspirations Garden Centre shop and a series of “inspirational gardens” which will be regularly refreshed and used to showcase the garden centre’s products.
A car park is also being created. Mr Wenlock added: “We are really excited about the whole Inspirations Coffee Shop and Garden Centre development, but we are particularly looking forward to serving our first coffee.
“This will be a real milestone after months of painstaking planning and construction work.”
l For more information about the jobs available, visit www.northeastjobs.org