A NEW 'crafts café' will be opening in Dorchester.

The Crafty Cuppa will be opening on High East Street.

This 'crafts café' will feature craft kits and rented shelves where local arts and craftspeople may sell their own goods in addition to tea, coffee and snacks.

It is owned by Jenny Coles, a long-time Dorchester resident, artist and author. 

When Jenny left university she often used 'rent-a-shelf' establishments - where artists pay rent to have their work displayed in a shop.

She feels that adding the shelves to a café will help attract customers, whilst giving local creatives the opportunity to sell their creations.

Jenny said: "When I was a student I really wanted to open a gallery to give new creatives a place to display their work because it is hard for them to get a start.

"I did a lot of rent-a-shelves when I left university and I am hoping by incorporating a café people will be in more enjoying teas and cakes whilst giving the local creatives more support.

"I want it to feel like a safe place to do crafts and create a space where creatives can get a start."

The cafe is a development of her business Jennysis Crafts, a printing, illustrating and designing service, that Jenny started in 2014.

She has been based at 42a High East Street since 2022 where she has been holding workshops.

Much of the store has been re-used and recycled as possible, including second-hand crockery, stools and furniture.

Jenny added: "Everything has been sourced second hand and recycled. I want to be as environmentally friendly as I can.

"The support on Facebook has been overwhelming. I have had 20 people contact me to have a shelf and several approach me about wanting to do workshops."

There will be no additional staff other than Jenny whilst she tests the water to establish viability, but she does hope to eventually bring more people in.

Jenny plans to open the cafe by the end of September but is reliant on work on the interior of the shop wrapping up first.

You can find out more on her Facebook page: facebook.com/craftycuppa