VIDEO: ‘Heart-breaking’ farewell from Horsham cafe to close

The owner of an independent children’s fashion boutique and cafe in Horsham has said a ‘heart-breaking’ farewell as she prepares to close its doors for good.

Jane Hart-Coombes, 46, of Rosie Lee & Me in Piries Place, has made the difficult decision to throw in the towel after little over a year in business.

JPCT 270913 S13390685x  Rosie Lee and Me, Piries Place -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 270913 S13390685x Rosie Lee and Me, Piries Place -photo by Steve Cobb

It comes after an up-hill struggle to pay the monthly business rates and rent along with other contributing factors.

The West Chiltington local opened her store - with the support of her partner Greg Hart - in June last year.

The couple have ploughed tens of thousands of pounds into the business and have even been forced to re-mortgage their home.

“It’s always been my dream,” said Jane. “When we opened there was a really positive response, a lot of people said a children’s boutique is exactly what Horsham needed.”

Customers have been loyal, and many regulars will call ahead on the rare occasions they are unable to visit at the weekend.

An avid baker, Jane pours hours into making all cakes on sale in the cafe. And Greg has even been to India to source and bring back tea for the perfect brew.

But despite the duo’s enthusiasm and loyal following the business consistently struggled to make a profit.

“It’s tough emotionally because it feels like we’ve failed,” continued Jane. “But we have done everything within our power. It’s very heart-breaking.”

She hoped the footfall would increase, however, a rise in car parking charges has not helped.

The store will close mid to late October.

Planning permission is being sought for change of use of the shop to a drinking establishment.

Jane and Greg have thanked everyone for their support and custom.

For the full story pick up the County Times on Thursday (October 3).