Chine Café, Seaton - before renovation

Chemistry teacher proprietor cooks up winning formula for Seaton’s new “Hideaway” seaside cafe

Seaton’s former Chine Café, which has been unoccupied since 2014, is to receive a complete makeover ready for a  Spring 2016 launch under a new proprietor, Hazel Goodier, 44, a former Chemistry teacher and mother of three from Branscombe.

Ms Goodier has taken a 25 year lease on the 1920s style building, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation and remodelling works. The new café premises, which is to be renamed ‘The Hideaway’, will extend to 1,335 square feet (twice the size of the original building) when complete and will incorporate a community toilet facility that will be available when the café is open.

 Chine Café’s owners, East Devon District Council, began marketing the property early in 2015 when it received considerable interest from potential lessees. By early summer, a preferred tenant had been chosen, who then had to undertake a structural survey as well as gain planning consent for a change of use for the existing public toilets to become part of the café (part of the terms of the lease).

Commenting on her new seaside café  venture,Hazel Goodier, said:

“I am thrilled to have taken over the lease of these well known, but now outdated premises. This is a wonderful opportunity to inject fresh life into the café, which I intend to turn into a vibrant, eatery offering locally sourced produce, together  with a small retail section, showcasing local crafts. We will be open from 9am to 4pm, hopefully seven days a week during the summer season, serving light lunches and sweet treats. I may also open on occasional summer evenings and would love to hear people’s views on that idea.

“I have many fond memories and personal links to Seaton, plus I fell in love with the café’s position – who wouldn’t after all? And I have been hugely impressed with the level of support that local friends and family have given me for this project. I met my builder, John Wheeler, through Seaton Cricket Club  and he is pulling out all the stops to ensure that we can open in early Spring.

East Devon District Council’s Portfolio holder for Economy and Chairman of Seaton Regeneration Board, Councillor Phil Skinner, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to benefit from the regeneration of Seaton and the new Jurassic visitor centre. The new café will complement the visitor offering in Seaton perfectly and will, I hope, be as highly successful a local attraction as the Clock Tower café in Sidmouth, which was turned into an outstanding café and we hope that the remodeled Chine Café will follow suit.”

Councillor Iain Chubb, Portfolio Holder for the Environment at East Devon, said:

“The new loos at the café will offer a much improved facility that will be available for use by both customers and visitors to the beach alike, while at the same time making a much needed saving to the public purse. Even though providing public toilets is not a statutory service required of the council, we have ensured that updated facilities are on hand for use by the community at this stunning Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.“