Happy birthday - Etta serves up a success story in Woodhall Spa

Etta Corlett at her successful business in Woodhall Spa
Etta Corlett at her successful business in Woodhall Spa

She’s seen 10,280 cups of tea and coffee slurped, watched 2,714 slices of cake munched and 4,137 baguettes and panninis devoured.

Little wonder Etta Corlett admits she’s very happy.

Twelve months ago, Etta took the biggest gamble of her life.

She said good-bye to family and friends in Dorset and launched a new business in Woodhall Spa - ‘Kitchenetta’

Some people doubted whether Woodhall needed yet another cafe and delicatessen.

A year on, Etta toasted her success at a special first birthday party.

“It’s been an amazing year,” said Etta, “and I have learned so much.”

That learning process has not just been about making sure her cakes rise to perfection.

Etta has had to battle red tape following a long-running saga regarding tables and chairs - and an advertising board - which she introduced on the pavement outside her business.

Local parish councillors were dragged into the dispute after a resident complained the pavement furniture was a safety hazard.

At one stage, there was a very real threat every business in Woodhall would have to remove their outside seating areas.

Etta, though, stood her ground.

She said: “Everything is fine now.

“We had an officer from the (County Council) Highways department visit us. We explained a few things and he is happy.

“That side of things has been difficult but I’ve had a lot of support from people.”

Etta admits she transformed her business last Easter when she increased the number of indoor seats.

She added: “It meant ripping out a display shelf and I wondered if I was doing the right thing, but my dad just told me to go for it.

“It made a big change. We’re a lot busier now and I’d say a lot of my trade is down to locals who regularly call in.

“A lot of the RAF wives come in and that’s brilliant.

“It has been hard work but I’ve no regrets. It’s been a good year and hopefully there are a lot more to come.”