South Yorkshire café and tea room amongst the UK’s 20 most loved local businesses

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A Barnsley tea room and Doncaster board game café have been voted two of the UK’s most loved businesses out of 4,000 nominees.

The list was created by ShopAppy, an online service which aims to revamp the high street by allowing people to browse, book and buy from local businesses.

Bake Battle and Roll, a board game café in Doncaster and the English Rose Tea Room, Hemingfield beat businesses from 200 towns and cities across the UK to make the list.

Adrian Barnard, who owns the English Rose Tea Room just outside Barnsley, said: “It makes you feel amazing and really proud of what we do, and the enjoyment we give to people to keep them coming back.

“We’re a family run business and this makes you feel prouder of that, like what you’re doing is valued and worthwhile.”

This community spirit is key to the tea room, Mr Barnard said: “We’ve got a fantastic customer base and loyal customers. So massive thanks to them.

“We know our customers personally, you get to know them as friends as well as customers and they want your business to succeed.”

After opening five years ago, their business has gone from strength to strength, opening their new Wombwell tea room opening in March.

As well as the tea room, Mr Barnard’s wife Suzie also runs a beauty salon above the café, so customers can enjoy a facial before their afternoon tea.

Another South Yorkshire husband and wife duo also made the list with Bake, Battle and Roll, a board game café in Doncaster.

Rachel Whitehouse, 30, and James Whitehouse, 41, said: “To win a spot in the top 20 was amazing. There’s so many great businesses in town. It was really, really great.”

The pair attribute their success to going the extra mile, community building and always striving for inclusivity.

According to Rachel, board games offer a unique opportunity to connect with your local community, she said: “I love the community feel of Doncaster in general. It’s really nice to put your phones down for a bit and have a conversation over a board game.

“Everyone talks to everyone here which is really, really awesome.”

After the café was forced to move online just a year after opening, the owners continued their business online, hosting Dungeons and Dragons games, quizzes and more.

But Rachel and James missed the community they had built around the café. They told the Sheffield Wire: “If you want to buy a board game from Amazon, you go online and get them. But what you can’t get is someone who will help you to play it, you can’t get the community.”

As the pandemic eases, their business continues to grow, and will soon move to a bigger location on Cleveland Street, Doncaster.

These two South Yorkshire businesses were amongst 14 winners from Yorkshire and 4,000 nominations from all over the UK. If you would like to nominate a South Yorkshire business or find more small businesses near you, visit ShopAppy.

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