But after several months of setbacks, a new café at one of Jersey’s most popular attractions has finally opened – and in doing so will be providing job opportunities for Islanders with learning difficulties and autism.
Beresford Street Kitchen opened in St Helier in 2017 and has now opened its second public offering at La Hougue Bie.
La Hougue Bie Tea Rooms will provide training and employment opportunities for ten to 14 people and will enable BSK to provide its crew with a further 10,000 hours of training per year in the hospitality industry.
Gabby Ellmers, managing director at BSK, said: ‘The last few months have been extremely difficult as we have not been able to have any of our crew in the main BSK building during lockdown.
‘The opening week at La Hougue Bie Tea Rooms has been wonderful and we are overwhelmed by the support we have received from the community. It is a pleasure to be able to be providing training and employment for people with learning disabilities and autism again and to see the crew back at work.
‘The crew have been amazing and after three months at home, have picked up all the new systems and processes so well, it is like they have been doing it for months already.
‘We could not be more thankful to Jersey Heritage for giving us the opportunity and for all of their help and support.’
The tea rooms were opened after grants from the Association of Jersey Charities and the Lloyds Bank Foundation were awarded. The AJC are funding a chef and support worker for a year and provisionally for another six months due to the delay in opening due to the pandemic.
And the Lloyds Bank Foundation awarded a one-off grant of £48,074 for the fit-out expenses of the kitchen and tea room.
Phil Thomas, Jersey Heritage’s director of finance and operations, said: ‘We have been renovating the tea room at La Hougue Bie over the past few months and it is exciting to reach the point when the doors are open to visitors.
‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with Beresford Street Kitchen to make this fantastic project possible and are sure the Tea Rooms is going to enhance the experience people already enjoy at one of the Island’s most historic sites.’
The Tea Rooms is open Tuesday to Sunday 10.30am to 3.30pm offering breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. It is due to open for seven days a week from 6 July.