A couple have launched a cafe business from a former housing developers’ sales office near Dunston Staithes.
The Staiths Cafe Bar opened this autumn following funding from NatWest, with three jobs expected in the pipeline.
Mark Hodgson has a background in catering as he established his own catering business four years ago while Suzanne Hutton works within arts and culture.
Ms Hutton said: “The opening of the café is really a life-long ambition of ours, especially Mark. We sold our house so we could buy the building that we are going to run the café in. There is accommodation upstairs so we will be literally living and breathing the business.
“We want to create a relaxing environment and make the business a hub for people who live in the area. We hope to develop various cultural activities and events and see its potential as a multi functional space, similar to cafes in cities such as Berlin.”
Funding for the opening was secured by NatWest relationship manager Gemma Watters.
Ms Hutton added: “Gemma has been amazing to work with. We have been working on this since February and it has been a rollercoaster to get everything finalised but Gemma has been with us every step of the way. She has given us great support and found the right funding options to support our business.”