Queenie Butler-Hoskins, 37, celebrated the opening of her vintage tearoom this morning, Friday May 6.
Queenie’s Vintage Tearoom, based on Platform 2 at Emsworth railway station, is Queenie’s first permanent location since starting her business in her 1960s vintage caravan ‘Travelling Teapot’ in 2019.
Always loving the 1940-50s era, it has always been Queenie’s dream to open a vintage-style tearoom and a speakeasy bar, and after working in recruitment for a number of years she decided to pursue her passion.
She said: ‘I saw that loads of other businesses were doing my idea, so I thought about it more and more, then I took the leap!’
The Travelling Teapot had a permanent spot on Hill Head beach, but as her contract came to an end she started to search for new venues and was approached by Emsworth station, who mentioned there was a vacant space on its Platform 2.
After receiving the keys on April 3, Queenie completed a full renovation on the space in less than five weeks to make the vision come to life ready for the big opening, whilst the Travelling Teapot continued operating in a spot outside the station.
The vintage themed space, complete with 1940’s themed decor and music is open from 6.30am on weekdays, and specialises in coffee as well as other hot and cold drinks, homemade bakes from a local supplier and most recently, doorstep sandwiches.
Queenie wants to represent the old-fashioned values of community, and hopes that the new space will be a place for like minded people who want to create genuine connections with others.
She said: ‘We’ve got really lovely regular customers, I think people really appreciate that I enjoy speaking to them and I see them as friends, there is a community feel and it’s not just a business to me.’
Some of the loyal customers that came to support Queenie on her opening day were Geoff Neal, who travelled from Gosport, and Pete Manns, who came from Titchfield.
Geoff said: ‘The coffee is amazing and the team are always so friendly and chatty, it’s so much better than just a generic coffee shop. The new venue is superb, it’s very Queenie.’
Pete, who has known Queenie for three years, said: ‘She’s absolutely the most lovely human being you could meet, and I’ve come all the way from Titchfield, I wouldn’t have come if it wasn’t for her but I know that if I asked her she’d come for me.’
Queenie works with friend Sophie Muscato and Summer Lofting, and will be welcoming three new members to the team in the coming days.