Carole steps aside as the owner of popular cafe

Carole Stimpson and Manish Keshwala
Carole Stimpson and Manish Keshwala
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The owner of a cafe in the town centre is to retire after more than 30 years 
serving up hot drinks to the local community.

Carole Stimpson has run La Patisserie in the High Street since Friday, May 13, 1983.

In an unusual co-incidence, she handed over the business to Manish Keshwala on Friday, February 13 having been in charge for the past 31 years.

Carole said: “I am retiring and I am very glad that Manish is taking it over because he is a very nice man – and that is very important to me.

“La Patisserie will have been going 32 years in May and the day we had everything signed was on a Friday 13. It was only when we were sorting it out that the solicitor pointed out we were handing over on a Friday 13 as well.

“I never thought this would get to 30 years when I started. I thought we might get to 10 but then it kept going and going.”

There are personal reasons behind her departure but she will still be involved in the local community. Carole added: “I will still be involved where I can with some of the charities. I believe that when you come in with a business you can’t just take from the local community, you have to give something back and that is why I have got involved in a lot of charity work over the years, particularly with Pete Spencer’s Helping Hands Memorial Fund.

“I am also delighted that Manish is going to carry on with the charity work that I have done at the store.”

She also lots of positive memories as she looks back on three decades of running the cafe.

Carole added: “I have lots and lots of memories from working, particularly of doing the meals delivered to people’s homes and the customers have all been absolutely fantastic.

“I have really enjoyed my time and I could not have done all of this without the customers. They have all been absolutely wonderful.

“I won’t missing setting the alarm and getting up in the morning, but I am sure the body clock will get me up.”