A VACANT tea room will soon re-open in a different form as a new business moves in.
The Curiously Wicked Edwardian Tea Room and chocolate shop in Sanderson Arcade closed suddenly just after Christmas, much to the surprise of its many loyal customers.
But soon a new chapter will begin for the Morpeth outlet as artisan chocolatier Gareth James moves in.
The chocolate shop and cafe will be the second outlet for young entrepreneur Gareth James Mellor, who has built up a reputation for luxury cakes, truffles and chocolate at his existing business in Tynemouth, which opened in 2010.
The 23-year-old has been searching for the right location for a second shop and the Morpeth premises seemed the ideal choice.
Although originally from Tynemouth, Mr Mellor has strong links with Morpeth, playing for both the town’s cricket and hockey clubs.
He said: “Chocolate is one of life’s little luxuries and we’re focussed on making sure what we produce and sell is of the highest quality for our customers.
“We are really excited about opening our second shop. Morpeth is a lovely town and a great location for us. The feedback we’ve had already from people has been fantastic.
“We’ve got some great plans for the new store and can’t wait to open later in the spring.”
Mr Mellor works alongside his sister Emma and will be recruiting staff locally over the next few weeks.
The store and cafe, which offers traditional flavours such as champagne and sea salted caramel, as well as more adventurous gin and tonic, Newcastle Brown Ale and orange blossom water chocolates, is scheduled to open in April.
Sanderson Arcade Manager Medi Parry said: “It’s great news that Gareth and his team have chosen the arcade to open their second store.”