A YOUNG businessman who has built his tea house up from nothing has won the Herald & Gazette Café of the Year 2014.
Edward Woodward, owner of The Cobblestone Tea House in Steyning, was presented with his award on Tuesday.
He said: “We are humbled, and really proud of all the staff who have made it happen. For the last two-and-a-half years, we have really been trying to make a name and we are obviously over the moon.”
When he took over the building in the heart of Cobblestone Walk, off High Street, in December 2011, it was rather neglected.
“I came in nearly three years ago and I took a big gamble,” said Mr Woodward. “The place was completely closed and to have built up to win this award is such a good message.
“I am only 26 years old and my whole ethos is about having a young team. We have taken on staff at 15 for washing up and now we are seeing them head off to university. It is such a good thing.
“We are passionate about good-quality food and service, which has been qualified by winning this award.”
Mr Woodward is also pleased to win the award for Steyning, as he is on the committee of the Steyning and District Food and Drink Festival, running until Sunday, October 5.
“I want to thank the customers who voted,” he added. “We have had such a good response, with people actively buying the paper to vote.”