Busy shop­pers can take a break in two new cafes

Fam­ily-run busi­nesses open their doors in the County Town

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam Janes wjanes@thek­m­group.co.uk @Wil­lJanesKM

Shop­pers will be ex­cited to learn two new cafes have opened their doors in Maid­stone.

Hi­malaya Leaf at 22 Union Street and Ve­su­vius Cafe in unit 9 in the Corn Ex­change Mar­ket Build­ings be­tween Earl Street and High Street are the two new­est ar­rivals.

Ve­su­vius Cafe aims to bring Neopoli­tan cof­fee cul­ture to the county town.

Alessan­dro Bis­cardi, 34, who owns the cafe with his sis­ter Bar­bara, said they wanted to ex­per­i­ment with a cafe after the suc­cess of their two Ital­ian trat­to­ria-style restau­rants in Tun­bridge Wells and Lower Stone Street, Maid­stone, which opened in 2008 and 2012 re­spec­tively.

The fam­ily busi­nesses first took off when they no­ticed the suc­cess of chain restau­rants in the area and wanted to in­tro­duce Kent res­i­dents to the gen­uine cui­sine they grew up on – their cafe takes the same ap­proach.

Mr Bis­cardi said: “Peo­ple tend to think of the English ‘caff’ but what we are try­ing to do is a very cul­tural idea, keep­ing things as au­then­tic as pos­si­ble.”

While many in Maid­stone know the Ve­su­vius name for lunch and din­ner, the new cafe serves break­fast, brunch and snacks, as well as cof­fee.

Also on of­fer are Ital­ian spe­cial­ity gro­ceries in­clud­ing bread sticks and tra­di­tional drinks.

Mr Bis­cardi also hopes that the shop could one day host live mu­sic act. It joins French eatery Fred­eric and Cafe Bruges in Mar­ket Build­ings.

Hi­malaya Leaf of­fers a peace­ful spot to grab a cof­fee and a cake to es­cape the bus­tle of Week Street shop­pers.

The fam­ily- run busi­ness serves or­ganic Hi­malayan cof­fee, gluten free cakes and sug­ar­free drinks.

It has only open for lit­tle more than two weeks butDeepa Thupa, who owns the shop with her hus­band Top Ba­hadur says busi­ness is go­ing well. A pub­lic meet­ing has taken place as two vil­lages face pro­pos­als for a multi-mil­lion tonne sand­pit on their doorstep.

Days be­fore Christ­mas, vil­lagers re­ceived no­tice of a KCC con­sul­ta­tion look­ing for views on pos­si­ble quar­ries around the county, in­clud­ing two po­ten­tial soft sand pits, one in Chapel Farm, Len­ham, and one in Ryarsh, off Roughetts Road.

The Roughetts Road site could be used to ex­tract 3.1m of soft sand and a fur­ther 500,000 tonnes of sil­ica sand over 24 years, while the one in Len­ham could be used to ex­tract four mil­lion tonnes of sand over a pe­riod of 26 years.

This week a meet­ing took place in Ryarsh Vil­lage Hall.

Sharon Thompson, head of plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions at Kent County Coun­cil said: “First and fore­most this is not a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, it is the re­ally early stages of the plan mak­ing process and we’re a long way, if ever, from a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion.”

Vil­lagers raised con­cerns dust from the pit could im­pact health and said dust could be blown over a nearby pri­mary school.

Res­i­dents were told in turn that KCC would ex­pect a re­sponse on en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as part of its con­sul­ta­tion, and would take into ac­count fears over pol­lu­tion raised on the night.

Smaller sites for sand and gravel ex­trac­tion have been pro­posed in Capel, Dart­ford, Lydd, Ton­bridge and Whet­sted.

Full de­tails on the con­sul­ta­tion, which runs un­til March 29, are avail­able at tinyurl.com/ min­er­al­con­sul­ta­tion.

Alessan­dro Bis­cardi, who owns Ve­su­vius Cafe with his sis­ter Bar­bara; Deepa Thupa, who owns Hi­malaya Leaf

Ryarsh res­i­dents out­side the field which could be­come a sand quarry

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