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New railway station coffee shop in a shipping container

PUBLISHED: 19:01 25 June 2019

Martyn Stokes at Toots Coffee. Picture: MARTYN STOKES

Martyn Stokes at Toots Coffee. Picture: MARTYN STOKES

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A coffee stall in a converted shipping container by a railway station is looking to expand into nearby towns and cities after a successful first two months in business.

Owner Delenia Stokes, 40, from Sudbury, first opened the entirely plant-based coffee stall, named Toots Coffee, in the car park of Sudbury railway station on April 1.

Having spent 30 years owning bars and nightclubs, she decided she needed a change and that she could fill a gap in the market by offering coffees, teas and snacks at the station.

They are served straight from a converted shipping container, which Mrs Stokes chose because: "It's strong, very sturdy, has a great industrial look and of course it's incredibly safe when it's locked up, as well as being recyclable."

Mrs Stokes and her husband Martyn, who operates the stall, are now hoping to expand into other towns and cities such as Cambridge and Chelmsford.

Mr Stokes, aged 52, said: "The business has gone very well so far.

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"We've had support from the train station and great feedback from customers - I mean everyone loves coffee!

"We're looking to expand into other areas with enough business, maybe near another train station or maybe a shopping mall."

The self-proclaimed vegan said that while the products are all plant-based, there is no desire to convert people to a free-from animal produce lifestyle.

"This isn't a revolution at all, it's just our choice for the business," he said.

Toots Coffee was named after one of Mr and Mrs Stokes' children, whose nickname is Toots.

"It works really well as we're near a train station and a car park so everyone is tooting their horns anyway!" said Mr Stokes.

"We'd love to thank all the customers so far for your support and that we're looking forward to grow into new sites in the coming months."

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