A cycling cafe has stepped up a gear to move to bigger premises.
Fausto Coffee proved popular at its first location, a converted living and dining room in St George’s Terrace, so much so they often had to turn custom away because they were full.
Now the owners have taken a Tour de Roker to a larger site on the seafront.
The latest development in the ongoing regeneration of Marine Walk, the new site means the cafe can now serve 70 covers instead of 12, take on additional staff and expand its menu.
Around £40,000 has been ploughed into converting the building which was formerly a bike hire project.
Owner Louise Riddell says although Fausto Coffee, a play on the name of 1940s Italian champion cyclist Fausto Coppi, is a cycling cafe it’s appeal has spread.
Louise, who runs the business with manager Laura Brewis, said: “I had actually been offered the site two years ago but I thought the space was too big for a new business. But the success of our original site gave me the confidence to take it on when it became available again.
“We always set out to be a cycling cafe and were firmly on the cycling map as Roker is at the end of the C2C route, but sometimes we’d have to turn groups of cyclists away because we just couldn’t accommodate them.”
She added: “We got the keys at the end of March and it took around six weeks to convert. A lot of people had walked past the site when it was a bike hire project and hadn’t even noticed it was there.
“It was pretty dark, dingy and insignificant, but we’ve put windows in and decorated it in our Fausto Coffee brand. Me and my husband Peter are big cycling fans, so I took Fausto Coppi as the inspiration for the business. The blue in our branding is the colour of his jersey and the other colours we use are in keeping with the Neapolitan Italian theme.”
The menu continues the theme with Leaders Jerseys options, Grand Tour Toasties and options for Young Riders, as well as cakes and artisan coffee.
Louise says she’s proud to be part of the rise in new business at Marine Walk, which has also welcomed restaurants including The Scullery to the nearby Pier Point development.
She said: “It’s such a beautiful spot between the piers here. It’s amazing to see our pink and blue cafe be part of the changes along the seafront.”