A few years ago when the hospitable Grimley family landed at the end of Oaks Road in Whitwick they wondered who on earth could be hospitable too?! After a flipant comment from Dad Kev about serving ‘tea on the lawn’ they began baking and selling scones from a wheelbarrow at the end of their lane. The scones had little pots of jam and butter with them and there was an ‘honesty box’ for people to pay. Lots of people came and bought them and then started coming up to the house to ask if they could do cups of tea too.
The family put up a small marquee in the garden and started doing teas and cakes for cyclists, people out walking and visitors to nearby Mount Saint Bernard Abbey. One afternoon they were surprised when a coach rolled up the drive and the driver asked if they could do tea for thirty! It was all hands to the pump, but they managed much to everyone’s relief. People began asking them to continue with the teas when the weather started getting colder. So they moved indoors and St. Joseph’s Tearoom was born.
The tearoom moved to the Mercian Centre, Abbey Grange at the end of 2011 and continues to flourish, with an array of delicious homemade snacks, scones and cakes. There are also Handmade Crafts for sale, many of them made by local people. Mum, Carey, now runs the tearoom with help from family and friends, also providing work for the local community.
St Joseph’s has become more than just a tearoom, with its ethos of offering hospitality and a listening ear when necessary, is seen by its regulars as somewhere safe and peaceful to come to.