The store and tea room was opened in 2011, by the oldest resident and the youngest school pupil in Rufforth. The village had been without a shop for 2 years, which had caused great inconvenience especially for those without transport. Frank Di Lorenzo, as a recently retired villager, saw the opportunity to create a family business, which would benefit the community. Although the reality was not without its risks.
The old school building which belongs to the village of Rufforth is now long term leased. The store also includes an authentic Victorian style sweet shop (an aspiration of the owner). It maintains a school theme throughout with blackboards, chalk, school bags, bells and signage. The oak counter takes pride of place in the store. Victorian recipes are often used and some dishes are dedicated to eminent Victorian locals with connections to the old school. For example the Emma Middlewood's afternoon tea and William Birdsall's Headmaster's Escape (hot choclate cake with ice cream).
To enhance the Victorian theme, an eye-catching display of the history of the village and school hangs on the store and tea room walls.
As a testament from the villagers and its surrounding communities, this transformed building and new thriving, friendly business, acts as a heart which has pumped life back into Rufforth. Come visit us for coffee, food, gifts and more.