Kentish Express Ashford & District
New cycling cafe planned for village
Plans have been revealed for a cycling cafe which hopes to attract businesses and visitors to a village.
The Hub would be set up alongside the River Stour on the former Poynters Coaches depot in Wye – a site that is already owned by one of the venture’s co-founders.
Offering up the land is Jez Smith and fellow cycling enthusiasts Matt Hayday and Keith Owen, who believe it is the perfect spot for a stop.
Using old shipping containers as the structures, the Wye and Boughton Aluph residents hope small startups will be able to set up shop in additional containers alongside the main cafe.
The plans for the Churchfield Way spot have been prepared by OSG Architecture, whose director is co-founder Mr Owen.
Mr Hayday, 45, owned a successful London tech firm, but has experience in the bike industry having previously run a chain of cycle shops.
He says the trio want the proposal to be a force for good in the village.
He said: “There are other businesses which sell things and serve food and drinks in Wye, and our intentions aren’t to be taking business away from them.
“We want to bring more people to the village in a sustainable way – any business that sells things we don’t sell, we’d strongly recommend those other places to our customers.
“While everyone will be welcome, we want to aim the business at the cycling clientele.”
Initially, only high-quality cakes and coffees would be sold as well as bike essentials such as inner tubes and brake cables. The offering could be expanded per popular request.
Cycling cafes have become increasingly popular and, according to the team’s feedback, many of Kent’s cycle groups say Wye would be an ideal place as a midway point between Tonbridge and Bridge’s Independent Pedaler.
Mr Hayday was quick to note they aren’t aiming to rival the popular bike cafe, saying: “An important message here is that I don’t see Kent’s other sites as competition.
“They are far enough away that the cafes act as a complementary network to each other.”
The team also want to focus on sustainability, reusing old containers and not having to dig deep foundations and fill them with concrete.
They believe this ties into the continuing promotion of cycling as a sustainable mode of transport.
Employment will also be a main aim, as Mr Hayday wants younger staff to get a similar experience to what he had in the cycling industry.
■ Visit www.hubwye.com for more details.