‘I'm absolutely devastated’ – cafe owner announces closure of popular tea room in Kibworth

The business was set up to make a difference to families living with dementia
Ivy Joys Vintage Tea Room was opened in 2021 by mother and daughter duo Natalie and Hathern Widdowson, who set up the tea room in memory of Natalie's grandparents, and Hathern's great grandparents, Ivy and Brian Laffar, who died in 2019.Ivy Joys Vintage Tea Room was opened in 2021 by mother and daughter duo Natalie and Hathern Widdowson, who set up the tea room in memory of Natalie's grandparents, and Hathern's great grandparents, Ivy and Brian Laffar, who died in 2019.
Ivy Joys Vintage Tea Room was opened in 2021 by mother and daughter duo Natalie and Hathern Widdowson, who set up the tea room in memory of Natalie's grandparents, and Hathern's great grandparents, Ivy and Brian Laffar, who died in 2019.

The owner of a family-run tea room in Kibworth said she is devastated to announce the closure of their popular business.

Ivy Joys Vintage Tea Room was opened in 2021 by mother and daughter duo Natalie and Hathern Widdowson, who set up the tea room in memory of Natalie's grandparents, and Hathern's great grandparents, Ivy and Brian Laffar, who died in 2019.

But Natalie said the cost of living crisis has forced them to close the doors – although the 1940's-themed business will stay open until January next year.

She said: "There isn't any easy way of announcing this and if I'm honest I'm absolutely devastated to be having to do it. Ivy Joys Vintage Tea Room is closing down.

"I'm sure those who know me well enough will know how much this has torn my heart out and been the most difficult decision of my life.

"The tea room was my dream and all I ever wanted was to make a difference to families living with dementia, like mine but unfortunately the cost of living crisis and the reduced footfall means we just cannot continue to trade and extend our lease on the shop with so much uncertainty for the future."

Natalie said she has tried everything to avoid closure, and asked people on social media or elsewhere not to be judgemental and critical.

"I don't want judgement or negativity. This is a really difficult time for us so please respect that," she added.

"Believe me when I say, we've tried it all and our endless amazing reviews speak for themselves, which makes this so much harder, because there is literally nothing more we can try or improve on.

"It's a difficult time for people and I'm not the only small business suffering this same fate, I just hoped we'd have had more time and been unique enough to survive it.

"This little tea room has been my absolute world for three years now and has consumed my entire life, I haven't made this decision lightly but my family has sacrificed enough, suffered enough and watched both my mental and physical health take a battering over recent months and it's time to stop and take stock of what matters."

She added: We are continuing as normal for now, So all bookings and reservations stand so please don't worry, we remain committed and have plenty of time to say goodbye but by January 2024 the doors will close for the final time.

"If you have any gift vouchers outstanding please get your reservations in as soon as possible and if you've loaned us any items please drop us a message to collect these from us. We shall announce our final day of trading well in advance."

Natalie also said that she would like to thank all her customers and her family for being an 'an amazing team'.

She added: "Finally my nan Ivy and grandad Brian, I hope you've looked down from heaven and felt proud of what I've tried to achieve in your memory, and I thank you both for being my inspiration and my drive. I sincerely hope we've touched at least one family's life these last three years."