New telephone booth coffee shop in Twickenham proves popular

A coffee shop which opened in a Twickenham telephone booth last week has been popular with customers.

Restaurant worker Livia, from Teddington, opened Liv’s Telecafe last Tuesday, having renovated a disused phone box on Twickenham Green.

Livia, originally from Hungary, balances Liv’s Telecafe around her job but hopes to run her business full-time once it develops.

She said: “My inspiration was that I’d always wanted to work for myself and control my own hours.

“This is great because I get to meet lots of nice people.”

Despite a quiet opening day, in which she only sold 10 coffees, Livia has received strong support from the community in her first week at the shop.

Customers shared their positive experiences in the comments of a Twickenham Community Facebook post about the new cafe.

One customer wrote: “Grabbed a coffee there yesterday, it was very good!”

Another said: “I had my coffee too, very nice and friendly service.”

Livia’s manager has also been supportive, providing her with sugar sachets and disposable cups while she waits for a delivery.

She plans to create a seating area for customers, with this being suggested to her by South Twickenham Council member Michael Butlin, who visited Liv’s Telecafe last Thursday.

Delighted by the community’s reception of her project, Livia said: “People are supporting me, which is really good, especially because this is a small business right now.”

Her goal is to give back to south west London’s community by using the business’ profits to support disadvantaged youths..

She will need more telephone boxes to do this, following in the footsteps of Amar Café who own several booths, including one on Twickenham’s Church Street, which opened in March.

Receiving planning permissions from councils to renovate telephone booths can take several months and such was the case for Livia’s booth.

However, she is confident she will be able to achieve her goals and wants future booths to create job opportunities for unemployed young people.

She added: “It’s good for me because I can be my own boss, but at the same time it is good for others.

“I believe that if you are healthy and young, and are in a good position in life, you have a responsibility to help people who are worse off than yourself.

“We were born to do good and it’s important to look after everybody.

“If you wish good on everybody, you will be happy.”

BEFORE AND AFTER: Liv’s renovations have converted the booth to a functioning coffee shop

Liv’s Telecafe sells a range of coffees and hot chocolates, offering vegan alternatives to milk and the option to pay by cash or card.

Fresh juices, smoothies and sandwiches will be added to her menu soon.

Livia said: “I want everything to be ready so I can show people all that the shop has to offer.

“Whatever people want, I will sell.”

To stay updated with Liv’s Telecafe, follow its Instagram page @livs.telecafe.

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