Monday, 30 November 2009


We managed to find a good old fashioned advent calender today. No Disney, no chocolates, no advertising just the sort we had as children.

And just like a couple of children we've popped it up on our fridge and are looking forward to window number one tomorrow. Deep joy for just a this space!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A New Shop & A New Partner

In case you're wondering 'have the artistandtartist been kidnapped by Somali pirates or worse...Tollesbury pirates'? then here's a post to allay your fears. The tartist and I have been deeply submerged in the planning stages of a new venture to enhance the Artcafé business and more importantly what we can offer our lovely customers. So unfortunately the blogosphere has had to take a back seat in recent weeks. Intrigued? Well, we've just taken on a new premises two doors down from our Mersea café in Coast Road and have been transferring our office (filing cabinets, computers, desks and box files etc.) from our spare bedroom at home, to this new shop. The next step will be to create a bigger and better kitchen/prep. room at the rear behind the office to better cope with all of the cake baking etc. so that we can continue our 'homemade' ethos on a larger scale. As for the new shop at the front, well, this we will be fitting out after the Christmas break.

In addition to a new shop we've also aquired a new business partner Jenny, our eldest daughter. Jenny has been working for us for nearly three years now and we felt it was high time that she had an equal say in the way things are done at the artcafé. Jenny brings with her a background in retail and has been training in the kitchen under the tartist's tutelage for some time now.

Our new partner Jenny

We've been amused by some of the stories and gossip that has got back to us as to what use our new shop will be put. The truth is we intend to be selling all the popular things that we make ourselves at the Artcafé over the counter for you to enjoy at home, on your boat, in your garden, at your beach hut...wherever. In addition to this we will be offering lots of good quality food and 'foodie' stuff and I expect it's getting a bit boring to say 'local', 'free-range', 'organic' etc. when talking about food...but that's exactly what we'll be aiming for here on Mersea.
Don't be surprised to find some food related art for sale on our walls here too.

So with all this buzzing around in our heads we took a bit of a reconnaissance party to Borough Market a couple of weeks back to get a few ideas to add to the ones we already have and what an eye opener it proved.

The tartist eyes up someone else's cupcakes

...and gateaux

We found fruit and veg. of the finest quality, and more varieties of wild and 'tame' edible fungi than you could wave a stick at!

Not everyone's cup of tea but we found wonderfully fresh meat and game and at Neal's Yard Dairy, floor to ceiling cheeses from Britain and Ireland.

To enable everything we've gleaned so far to sink in and also so that we don't push ourselves too hard we've provisionally set a date to open our new shop on the 1st March 2010. So expect more news as things progress over the coming weeks...and we'll try not to leave it so long this time!