Couple selling their ‘gorgeous little gem’ cafe to go ‘see what the world has to offer’

February 16, 2022 by No Comments

A couple behind one of Teesside’s best-loved veggie and vegan restaurants is selling up – to live the dream and go travelling.

Trouvailles arrived on the scene in Marske in 2019 after Michelle Robinson and Graeme Watson opened their dream business, in the former coffee house where they first met.

Little more than two years and two lockdowns later, they have managed to carve a name for their business as one of the area’s best-loved eateries of its kind.

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Trouvailles translates as ‘a lucky find’ – and people say they are “besotted” with its “funky surroundings” and “laid back vibe”.

But the couple, who are both in their mid-40s, say the time feels right to make the move and “experience what the world has to offer”.

Graeme said it had been an “absolute blast” meeting people, experimenting with the menus, inventing “never before seen scones” and “building a great business”.

“But the time has come to move on,” he posted on Facebook, “we want to spend more time with each other, family, friends and start traveling more.”

Fans of the eatery love its ‘laid back vibe’ and ‘funky surroundings’

And they’ve already had interest from prospective buyers.

“It’s sad because we’ve put all the groundwork in,” says Michelle, “we’ve come through two lockdowns, things were just starting to pick back up again.

“You can always use the excuse ‘let’s wait another year’.

“But the time feels right to go.

“Whoever gets it is going to get a successful little business.

“Everything in the village offers something different, it’s the variation, and we were another niche.

“We’ve loved it, I didn’t think I would be sad to see it go, but the other day I started to make coffee for a regular and my eyes welled up.

“It does take a bit of your heart.”

‘No regrets’

The lure of life on the road has been strong, she says.

“It will be nice to have that freedom, to be able to visit a place and say ‘we might stay a few days more’.

“The problem with life nowadays, you are clock watching all the time.

“I also run a fitness business and working seven days a week is not what I wanted.

“I don’t think that’s what anyone wants.”

“We are proud of what we’ve done,” she continued.

“We have no regrets.”

“But it’s time to pass it onto somebody else.

The couple says it’s still early days and it will be “business as usual” at Trouvailles until a buyer is found.

Michelle’s Jump Fitness will also continue as normal.

Fans of Trouvailles have called it a “delightful hidden gem”.

“I am not a vegetarian but delight in the food I have eaten at Trouvailles over the last four visits,” wrote one.

“I even come home and try and replicate. Your passion for food is plain to see.”

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