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Why there are celebrations at Applaud coffee house

PUBLISHED: 11:25 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:25 16 July 2019

Applaud Cafe in St Peter's Street celebrated six years with music in the garden today. Sisters Beth Cook and Hannah Huntly outside the Ipswich cafe. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Applaud Cafe in St Peter's Street celebrated six years with music in the garden today. Sisters Beth Cook and Hannah Huntly outside the Ipswich cafe. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

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Six years ago these Suffolk sisters took a step into the unknown by opening a cafe in The Saint's area of Ipswich, and now they are celebrating a milestone in their business history.

Food and Drink Awards 2016

Best Cafe/ Tea Room - Hannah Huntly and Beth Cook from Applaud Coffee in Ipswich with sponsor Charlotte Smith-JarvisFood and Drink Awards 2016 Best Cafe/ Tea Room - Hannah Huntly and Beth Cook from Applaud Coffee in Ipswich with sponsor Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Sadly many business struggle to make it past the first year in these tough conditions, but Applaud has bucked the trend and six years on is still going strong.

Sisters Hannah Huntly and Beth Cook, who originally launched the business under another name, celebrated the anniversary with live music in the garden of the St Peter's Street cafe.

The sisters were forced to change the name of their business after a dispute over the original name - and they chose Applaud.

Having overcome this slight hitch, the business has gone from strength to strength, winning the Best Cafe/Tea Room in the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in 2016.

Carrot cakeCarrot cake

So what is the recipe to their success? Hannah said: "A lot of people like our cakes, we are baking all day.

"We keep trying out more recipes. Our orange crush is popular and also lime, courgette and pistachio."

She added: "People love the courtyard garden this time of the year, it is a bit of peace in the town centre."

And the pair have their dad to thank for that, with his help making it a true family business.

Cinnamon rollCinnamon roll

"Dad looks after the garden for us, it always looks great," said Hannah.

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The coffee shop owner continued: "It is about personal service too. We know a lot of our customers well now, and we know their drinks order.

"We have a very loyal customer base, 80% of our customers are regulars. Some of them have been coming here the six years."

And the business has done so well that the sisters have been able to expand their empire.

"We also have our second site in Crown House," said Hannah,

A range of artists performed for customers during the anniversary celebrations, including Joe Lees, Elly Tree, Meg Burrows and Seth & Eliza.

The sisters also gave out special birthday cookies as they celebrated their milestone.

The staff team were treated to a night out which consisted of a visit to the coffee roasters followed by a meal - cooked by somebody else.

Hannah added: "We are looking forward to the next six years."

Looking ahead another range of evening craft workshops were being planned, from September, including calligraphy, ceramics decorating and weaving.

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