A POPULAR tea room in Silloth has been keeping customers happy after a booming reopening.

With school holidays fast approaching, Vicky Hope, the owner of Fairydust Emporium, is expecting a busy and successful summer to help get her business back to normality. “We’re currently busier than we’ve ever been,” Vicky said. “It’s great to see people their dogs come in again. It’s just been wonderful.”

Vicky was emotional when she was allowed to reopen her shop.

As a business owner and town councillor for Silloth, she was able to experience what the pandemic has done to the area.

“When Boris announced the first lockdown and that we were to stay at home I was distraught,” she said. “Because at that time we had no idea how we were going to pay the rent and bills, how we were going to operate.

“When we were given the go ahead to reopen through to Christmas it was amazing we had Santa come into the shop and all the children loved it — but then we had to shut again.

“It’s an emotional rollercoaster.

“Because you’re seeing people who you haven’t seen for a long time and we’ve lost customers to Covid, it’s really sad.”

Vicky adapted her tea room earlier on in the year to accommodate social distancing measures.

She is hoping the shop will be properly back to normal in August and may start to reopen again in the evenings. She said: “We’ll reopen in the evenings if the demand is there — a lot of our customers are visitors to Silloth, so if they’re families they, tend to go back to the campsite in the evenings.

“Reopening this time we are doing more ice cream parlour-type sundaes and we’ve been trying new things that are perfect for summer days.”

Vicky will be keeping her doors open for later during the school holidays but mainly for afternoon teas.

“It is incredibly busy at the moment and it breaks my heart when people turn up with grandchildren in tow dressed as fairies and I can’t fit them in.”

Vicky currently has a booking system in place to avoid having to turn away customers. She said: “It is unfortunate, but hopefully when I can get the shop back to normal I can fit more people in again.”

In the second lockdown, Vicky helped open the Silloth Community Hub, “As a customer, you could go in and take what you want and pay what you can afford with donations,” she said, “That’s still going on and being run volunteers now.”

Vicky is organising an event in Silloth on July 31 to raise money for charity.