ONE of the region’s best-loved eateries has gone on the market and its many fans will be hoping its new owners continue business as usual.
Sylvia Brown, proprietor of Kitty’s Tea Room in New Galloway, has decided to hang up her chef’s whites and pass the flourishing business on after 22 years.
The building, on the main street in the town, has stood since 1804 and it’s thought it was built by a ship’s captain, though no historical reference can be found to prove this.
What is known is the wood panelling inside was taken from a ship at Palnackie Harbour and installed to form the decor for a hotel, which is what it was operated as for 20 years before turning into a grocery shop.
It changed hands many times before Sylvia and her family bought it and decided to open half of the shop as a tea room.
Sylvia said: “I wass inspired by other businesses that had begun to offer tea and coffee, and thought, ‘If they can, so can we!’ So we began to offer tea and coffee and turned one half of the store into a tea room. At the time, we couldn’t afford the china we needed, so we searched car boots and charity shops for vintage sets. In time, the business became so successful that we closed the grocery side of things and re-opened the whole building as a tea room.”
Since then, the business has appeared in Bon Appetit Magazine in the US, as well as the Sunday Times, Irish Times, The Herald and Taste Of Scotland – as well as, of course, The Galloway Gazette.
The business is run by Sylvia and her husband, along with help from her daughter and young grand-daughter.
News of the sale has travelled fast – Sylvia has even received a text message from Spain about it.
The business and upstairs accommodation is being offered for sale in the region of £324,495 through specialist estate agents, Bruce & Co.