It was a pleasure to be invited to help The Hothouse Café proprietors, Paul, Tory and Becky, and their staff celebrate their move into the newly restored Hothouse at The Medicine Garden* in Cobham.

Located in the former walled kitchen gardens to the neighbouring Victorian Cobham Park House, The Medicine Garden is a truly magical place, home to the small businesses that make up the courtyard community of workshops, studios and small retail outlets. The Hothouse Café, providing home-cooked, wholesome light meals, teas, coffees and scrumptious cakes, has been operating out of the former potting shed, with customers taking their refreshment in these rustic surroundings, or out on the sun deck, overlooking the landscaped gardens with a safe play area for small children.

This week the Hothouse Café business takes up its rightful space in the beautifully restored glasshouse in the courtyard, with additional outside seating in this sheltered scene where customers can watch the comings and goings of other clientele visiting the charming retail outlets, or out on the front deck where sail-like sunshades provide respite during the hot summer days, which we all hope are coming soon.

The Medicine Garden is barely more than 5 minutes’ walk from Cobham High Street, yet the Hothouse Café is a world away from the private equity owned, big brand coffee shops and eateries found there. An oasis of calm, it attracts young families, ‘ladies who lunch’ and all those who just want to experience a quiet space and a taste of the ‘good medicine’ found here.

Paul, Tory and Becky have built a successful business over the last couple of years, building a loyal clientele through their friendly and welcoming service ethic, and consistently good food and beverages. Now is the time to take their business into its next developmental phase in their new location, expanding their café business, catering for small functions in this unique venue, and participating in larger events hosted within the Victorian walls of The Medicine Garden, such as the recent Diamond Jubilee celebration party.

Last evening was a celebration of what they have already achieved, and what they have to look forward to. As every successful leader knows, it is important to celebrate ‘the wins’, and Paul, Becky and Tory did this, uniting their team and motivating them to achieve a common goal, with a clear reminder of what they have all achieved thus far, and what they will continue to achieve together.

It is a genuine pleasure to count The Hothouse Café as one of my clients, and I wish them all every success at this transformational stage of their development.


* The Medicine Garden concept is the embodiment of the vision of its founder, Paul Studholme, who discovered the derelict site in 2006 and, excited by the potential of this beautiful and mysterious place, set about creating a place for the local community to be inspired, relax, play and take some ‘good medicine’ home with them.