Worthing café owner talks success, loving the town and how you can get a free coffee

The owner of one of Worthing town centre’s most recent success stories has said he is excited to be running a business in a town that is on the up.

Tom Lines, 29, opened Finch in Warwick Street in June last year, alongside his already well-established café the Garden Pantry, in The Broadway, Brighton Road, opposite Steyne Gardens.

Tom Lines in front of Finch in Warwick Street SUS-191102-171725001

Tom Lines in front of Finch in Warwick Street SUS-191102-171725001

He handed over the reins of Finch to his business partner and former employee Megan Dooley, 23, and said they never looked back.

“It’s gone better than I ever could have expected,” he said.

“I thought there was a gap in the market for this sort of thing – luxury breakfasts, Champagne breakfasts, a casual dining experience – and the community has been so supportive.”

To celebrate the business’s success, Tom is offering a free takeaway coffee to readers of the Herald & Gazette series from today, Thursday, February 14, to Wednesday, February 20 inclusive. Simply cut out the voucher in the print edition and exchange it for a drink in-store.

Tom said he had always wanted to open a larger venue than the Garden Pantry, but was so determined to find the perfect location he was willing to wait.

He knew he wanted a south-facing building in Warwick Street, Worthing, and when the lease came up for sale for the former Good Cook Shop site, he jumped at the opportunity.

After spending a year negotiating the terms of his lease, he said he ‘completely gutted the place and started again’. The building was given a whole new interior, exposing the original brickwork, and new fixtures and fittings were installed.

Gas and hot water had to be reconnected and a kitchen was built in the back.

In a fitting twist of fate, a slab of concrete reclaimed from the old building was used to form the bar – when the team turned it over, it was found to still have The Good Cook Shop branding from when it was used as the old shop sign, marrying the old with the new.

The menu at Finch offers many of the favourites found at the Garden Pantry, with new additions in a more sit-down setting.

Originally from Southampton, Tom said he was excited by the direction Worthing was taking and could not imagine living anywhere else.

“I get so many people who are moving here because Worthing is an up and coming place,” he said.

“Since I came here, so much has changed. There were hardly any restaurants, pubs, cafés. Now there are new things cropping up every day. It’s perfect, you’re by the seaside, you’ve got Brighton down the road. I love it here.”

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