Look inside Milton Perk Coffee House a new coffee shop in Portsmouth
A businessman has opened up a new coffee shop in the exact same spot where his parents once owned a fruit and veg store.
Milton Perk Coffee House, on the corner of Milton Road and Meon Road in Milton, opened for business on Saturday, serving freshly ground coffee and a wide variety of cakes.
It sees its owner Shaun Carter return to the site that was formerly a fruit and veg shop owned by his parents, before it was rented out and turned into a framing shop.
Shaun said it felt amazing to return to shop that holds so many memories for him and his family.
He said: ‘This is my dad and mum’s shop that has been in the family for 40 years – they purchased this building and the one next to it in 1980, the year I was born.
‘At a week old, they brought me in...40 years later, it’s nice to be back.’
Shaun has spent spent the previous 21 years working for Debenhams, before he was made redundant from his operations manager role when the 200-year-old department store went out of business earlier this year.
He said: ‘I wasn’t bitter. It was just everything I knew – I worked there since I left school.
‘It was a bit of a scary moment, thinking about what I would do next.
‘I thought opening a business in this climate was a risk - but it was now or never. I love coffee and always wanted my own business.’
Now the new business owner is able to make the most of his passion, sourcing coffee from a small Italian firm.
The 40-year-old said: ‘It’s brought in directly from Italy.
‘My USP is good coffee and good cake.
‘There’s a small selection of food, but its about getting the basics right.’
Cutting the ribbon in front of the shop to declare it open where Shaun’s children, Theo, aged two, and Olivia, aged eight.
Shaun’s parents – who were the publicans of The Leopold for six years until 1992 – were also among the excited new customers.
The pair said it was good to see a new business open in the area, which has radically changed since their time running the fruit and veg store.
Shaun’s mum Linda said: ‘You had chemists, butchers, dry cleaners, all sorts of business along the road. A lot of them are gone now.
‘But it’s really lovely that Shaun’s been able to return here.’