Whitburn Village Cafe celebrates 50 years of serving up delights as it goes from strength-to-strength

A popular cafe has celebrated half a century of serving customers.

The Whitburn Village Cafe, in Front Street, has been an institution for five decades, and owners Francis and Peter Hopper say the business is better than ever as it welcomes visitors from all over the globe.

The husband-and-wife team first bought and launched the cafe fifty years ago in 1972 and went about making it a central part of village life.

To celebrate the anniversary, which fell on August 15, the pair invited the community for a drink at the cafe to celebrate and also welcomed Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay.

The Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Pat Hay (2nd right) presents a gift to Fran and Peter Hooper from the Village Cafe, Whitburn to mark their 50th year in business. As The Mayoress Mrs Jean Copp (right) and the Leader of South Tyneside Council Councillor Tracey Dixon look on. Also photographed are members of the public who called at the cafe to congratulate Fran and Peter. Picture by FRANK REID

The couple say they were blown away by the achievement of being open for half a century and were delighted to see the community come out to celebrate.

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Peter said: “It was only a very small front shop when we first started and over the years we’ve extended right out the back.

"When we first started we would mainly just get local people visiting but we get them from all over now. Even people from Australia come her during their holiday.

The Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Pat Hay (left) presents a gift to Fran and Peter Hooper from the Village Cafe, Whitburn to mark their 50th year in business. As The Mayoress Mrs Jean Copp. 2nd left and the Leader of South Tyneside Council Councillor Tracey Dixon look on. Picture by FRANK REID

Francis added: “It felt really good celebrating 50 years, it was a really nice day. It was great to have people celebrating with us and feels really good to be so valued by the community.

Whitburn Councillor Tracy Dixon, who also attended the celebrations, praised the dedication of Peter and Francis over the last 50 years.

“I’ve known Francis and Peter for many years. The Whitburn Cafe has been an integral part of our village and community. It’s very much a family business and they welcome both local residents and visitors to South Tyneside like family.

"They’ve worked really hard and tirelessly for the last 50 years and are a real asset to the community.”

Village Cafe, Whitburn. Picture by FRANK REID

The cafe has seen some changes over the last fifty years, growing in size and adding a professional chef in order to offer greater menu options.

After reaching 50 years, Peter and Francis, who are both in their 70s, are starting to think about retirement where they will be able to enjoy some more holidays together.