#EnglishTourismWeek19: Fitzcane's cafe, Midhurst
Our series of blogs for #EnglishTourismWeek19 celebrates all that’s great about the Chichester region. Here, we speak to Caroline Cheshire, founder of the fabulous Fitzcane's cafe in Midhurst.
Although Fitzcane’s was only established in 2014, it feels like it has been in Midhurst forever. Founder Caroline Cheshire moved here with her family to be closer to her parents, having lived for 20 years in the United States. The family quickly settled into English country living and Caroline opened a tiny ice cream café off West Street. She was thrilled with the response from the town. When larger premises became available on North Street, she joined with two partners and opened in the current larger location.
“The wonderful thing about being an independent is that you can do whatever you like. As a dog owner I understood the importance of being able to stop during a family walk for a cup of tea with our pooch. As someone who moved to a town where I knew no one, I liked the idea of somewhere where you would always get a friendly welcome. I'm also the parent of four daughters, so I understood the importance of having a place where families could feel comfortable. My Dad had Alzheimer’s and so we undertook dementia training, so that we could welcome caregivers with their loved ones and meet their needs. Being an independent gives us the freedom to tackle any issue that is important to us. We are working very hard at the moment at being a ‘responsible’ café, joining ‘Refill’ and ‘Reuse’ programs and only using compostable packaging as well as green cleaning products.”
In March 2019 Caroline handed the reins to new managing director Dean Lowe. With years of experience in the service industry, Dean is now continuing and building on what Caroline started.
“I was excited to join Fitzcane’s as I saw it as a thriving community cafe with an exciting future. We are introducing take-away sandwiches, and catering local meetings in response to our customers’ needs, as well as expanding our vegan menu. We buy our produce locally whenever we can and are lucky that West Sussex is a fantastic resource for top quality products. We are situated next to a large car park in a town that has a lot to offer visitors, such as the Cowdray ruins, the Madhurst Festival and lots of great independent shops. Our ethos will always be a café that values all customers while offering home cooked fresh local food. It doesn’t get much better than being able to do that in the beautiful South Downs – the gem of the South East.”
To celebrate #EnglishTourismWeek19, we’re also offering everyone who signs up to our e-newsletter the chance to win prizes from a host of top attractions across the region, including a fantastic Fitzcane's Easter Coffee hamper. To find out more, click here.