New cafe Milton Perk Coffee House destined for Portsmouth after owner loses his job with Debenhams and returns to his family's roots
AFTER being made redundant from his job at Debenhams, Shaun Carter has returned to his family’s roots to set up a new business.
Shaun has transformed a former fruit and vegetable shop in Milton into a charming coffee house, and he plans to open on June 12.
The cafe – called Milton Perk Coffee House – will be serving freshly ground coffee and a wide variety of cakes and pastries, as well as vegan and gluten-free food options.
The shop, on the corner of Meon Road, belonged to his parents, where they sold fruit and veg, before they rented it out and it was turned into a framing shop.
When the framing shop closed down, Shaun saw it as an opportunity.
Shaun, a father of two who has a big passion for coffee, said: ‘I have grown up in Milton and I have seen my parents working in this shop for 40 years. It is a blessing to start a new chapter of my life in this very shop.’
Before losing his job, Shaun worked as an operations manager for department store Debenhams for 21 years, which went out of business this year, closing all its stores after more than 200 years.
Fortunately, Shaun’s family managed to ensure financial stability as his wife’s job was safe.
He said: ‘For a very long time, I worked for Debenhams. During the national lockdown, I was furloughed and later redundant. It was a very challenging time for me.
‘After spending months planning and developing a business model, I decided to open a coffee shop. My family and I decided to renovate the shop from scratch.
‘It has taken us a lot of work to refurbish the shop fully. So far, we have managed to install new plumbing, repair and repaint the walls and fix other furniture in the store.’
Shaun said the shop was ideal for a cafe due to its location and the fact it also has a small garden.
He said: ‘It is a great location and a fantastic opportunity for me to share it with my community. We are also a child and dog-friendly establishment.
‘It has been challenging to take on a restaurant, but hopefully, people will support us. We have a fantastic staff on board, and we are quite pleased about it.
‘I am delighted that my effort is finally paying off. I’m quite pleased with how it has come out, and I hope our customers are as well.’
For more information go to facebook.com/Miltonperkcoffeehouse