Couple take on former cake shop in Southsea and transform it back into a cafe - with a nautical theme

A FORMER cake shop has gone back to its roots – and has been transformed into a nautical-themed cafe.

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Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 7:13 am
Pictured is: Lee Tindal and Lindsay Martin Picture: Keith Woodland (250721-8)

Couple Lindsay Martin and Lee Tindal have opened their new sideline, a café called By The Beach, after moving into the premises attached to it.

The duo have spent months transforming the shop, which used to be Carl Christian Cakes in St Georges Road, into the café and it finally opened for trade on Saturday, July 24.

The pair, who both work full-time – Lindsay as a physio and Lee as a teacher at Charter Academy – say they have been buoyed by the support shown so far.

Pictured is: Owners Lindsay Martin and Lee Tindal, with assistants Melanie Jepp, Chole Sykes. Picture: Keith Woodland (250721-14)

Lindsay, 41, said: ‘The cake shop owner decided to sell up as he was retiring and we were toying with the idea of finding some sort of business that we could do for ourselves as an alternative to our careers.

‘We explored a lot of things and thought it would be nice to have a café, so we looked at a few businesses for sale.

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‘Then we saw this house with the commercial premises attached and thought we would go for it. It was perfect for us.

‘It used to be a café from 1946 until 1996 when it turned into the cake shop so the owner was pleased to see it turning back into what it originally was.’

They moved in to the premises in December and set about renovating the shop and decorating, with plans to open next year.

However things went so smoothly, with Lee gaining his food hygiene certificates and the premises being granted an alcohol licence, that they decided to bring the opening forward.

Lindsay said: ‘During lockdown there was not a lot to do so we set about decorating. At first the house but then we started working on the shop. Luckily most of the things we needed like the kitchen and the counter were already there so we didn’t have to do too much.

‘As we were working over Easter things quickly progressed and people started enquiring as they were passing by. People were excited to see it turning into café. It escalated from Easter forwards and we didn’t stop the momentum and now we are open.’

The pair, who are engaged and plan to marry next July, have recruited a small team of five and they are open weekends, serving cakes, pastries, sandwiches and all kinds of drinks.

They have also set up a small deli selling local produce and they plan to start holding small evening events – the first being a gin and rum tasting hosted by the Portsmouth Distillery on August 20.

Lindsay and Lee say they are pleased with how their venture has been received.

Lindsay said: ‘The last two weekends have been really lovely. Everyone has been so supportive with lots of lovely locals coming in.’

Story by Kimberley Barber

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