The influence of Mediterranean food has seen a mother and daughter open a new restaurant in St John Street, Bury St Edmunds.
Cafe del Mar has opened in the former Josef’s Vegetarian Cafe.
“Running my own restaurant is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 17,” said owner Maria Crick who has spent the last four years working as a personal assistant to an MP and 20 years prior to that working for a fashion retailer.
In between those jobs she had also run her own catering firm as a ‘hobby job’.
Her daughter Anabelle Parslow, 21, is front of house manager at the restaurant, while her other daughter Kristina Parslow, 24, is the firm’s accountant.
Maria has also taken on head chef Niall Cockran who previously worked at The Brewers Arms in Rattlesden and The Dark Horse in Stowlangtoft as well as apprentice Joe Bone who is currently studying cookery at West Suffolk College.
The restaurant will specialise in seafood, while a third of the menu will be vegetarian.
It will also serve tapas, Mediterranean breakfasts with fruit, Greek yoghurt and honey, as well as carb free options,and food to meet special dietary requirements.
Maria sourced her furniture from car boot sales and charity shops, while college students helped with painting as part of their course.
“They have done a superb job,” Maria said. “ There is a really good atmosphere.
“I have done this all in eight weeks from when I first looked at the it to opening the door.”
The restaurant is open every day, and for evening meals on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while on Sunday, they will offer a roast with Mediterranean vegetables.
Cafe del Mar will be working with Steamer Trading opposite to offer cookery demonstrations.
Maria is chairman of the friends of Compiegne, twinning group and will hold meetings at the restaurant, while she also plans to hold pop up theatre events in January.