Published: September 4, 2020 | Updated: September 5, 2020

Tasty business as three generations of family invest £40,000 in new sandwich bar and café

Tina Edwards, second right, with Terry Stickland, Tiffany Edwards and Maureen Stickland. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

It’s a real family affair and has all the makings of being one tasty success.

Three generations of a Poole family have come together to launch The Fern Sandwich Bar and Café.

More than £40,000 has been invested in the new business and seven jobs created.

The new venture, in Longfleet, officially opened on September 1.

That’s just ten weeks after Tina Edwards, Managing Director of Singlepoint BookKeeping Services Ltd, set her sights on converting the former newsagents in St Mary’s Road into a sandwich bar and café.

The 55-year-old enlisted:

  • Dad, Terry Stickland, 79, a carpenter and joiner by trade and former Site Manager with Woodpecker Properties, to design the layout of the sandwich bar and café.
  • Mum, Maureen Stickland, 75, who ran a bed and breakfast in Poole, to carry out internet research and prepare to bake her family favourite homemade cakes for the new business.
  • Daughter Tiffany Edwards, 21, a mother of two, to manage the venture.

Tina said: “I saw the empty shop and thought it was just begging to be a sandwich bar.

“It was on Father’s Day, Sunday June 21, that I said to everyone: ‘I think we might have a shop’ and outlined my plan.

“We viewed the following week and signed the lease on July 15.

“Dad has done a fantastic job designing the new layout, including our kitchen area and disabled toilet.

“It’s been a real family team effort and not just Dad, Mum and Tiffany.

“Tiffany’s partner, Martin Richards, has been helping, using his muscles with all the heavy lifting as well as looking after the children so that Tiff could focus on the shop.

“My partner, Matt Goodrum, has done all the outside painting as well as creating the website, working on the camera installation and sorting the IT.

“It’s a fabulous location. We’re close to five schools as well as the hospital and Civic Centre and are on a busy road (A35, Fernside Road).”

The Fern Sandwich Bar and Café is open from 6.30am to 4.30pm.

Apart from offering a takeaway service it can seat up to 32 people inside and out.

The menu includes cold sandwiches, with 22 separate fillings; hot sandwiches; baguettes; light bites including poached eggs or beans on toast, pasties and sausage rolls; a selection of cakes and traditional afternoon teas.

Tina said: “We’re catering for all tastes and have a full selection of vegan and gluten free products as well.

“We’re also very child-orientated.

“Our Kids Choices allows a ‘pick and mix’ of up to five items, including a jam, cream cheese, ham or cheddar sandwich, from a selection including a mini sausage, crisps, fruit and yoghurt.

“We have listened to what people want and have worked hard to provide a good selection.”

The seven jobs created include four full-time and three part-time positions.

Maureen and Tiffany have also passed their City & Guilds accredited Food Safety & Hygiene Level 2 for Catering.

The Fern is offering a ten per cent keyworker discount to NHS staff.

A particular feature of the sandwich bar and café is a handmade stable door, ideal for dog walkers who just want to get a hot drink and something to eat without worrying where to leave their pet.

Tina said: “We’ll be catering for different people at different times of the day.

“There’ll be people on their way to work who’ll be grabbing something to eat there and then or for later.

“Then the children on their way to school, followed by Mums catching up over a coffee and, later, afternoon tea with cake and scones.

“We really have tried to cater for everyone.

“We want to be a new community hub, with baby changing and disabled facilities.

“We’re really excited and have been getting a great reaction from everyone.

“Now we just can’t wait to get started.”