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A taste of the old and new at spacious Thurso café


By David G Scott

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A former storeroom above a popular Thurso newsagents has been revamped into a "sparkling new business" that will bring back memories of the long gone eateries which traded there.

T's Café operates from above Jim Bews shop on Olrig Street and are both owned by Josuva Selvanesan who named the town centre establishment after his daughters Thivya and Trisha.

T's Café operates from above Jim Bews shop on Olrig Street and is owned by Josuva Selvanesan. Pictures: DGS
T's Café operates from above Jim Bews shop on Olrig Street and is owned by Josuva Selvanesan. Pictures: DGS

"It was a café before in Bews but for some years it's just been a storeroom," said Josuva.

"Because of the amount of room we have, it will help with the distance rules of the pandemic. We are able to have two-metres of distancing between tables."

Josuva Selvanesan hails from Sri Lanka and has operated Jim Bews newsagent shop for four years. Pictures: DGS
Josuva Selvanesan hails from Sri Lanka and has operated Jim Bews newsagent shop for four years. Pictures: DGS

Josuva originally hails from the central region of Sri Lanka and has lived in Caithness since 1998. He took over Jim Bews newsagent shop in 2016 and still trades under that name as a limited company.

"There was a café here quite a few years ago. We spent a long time sorting out the place to get the building up to the standard required and we think people will appreciate that when they are able to visit after lockdown."

It's service with a smile thanks to friendly chef and counter assistant Anne-Marie who is pictured with owner Josuva. Pictures: DGS
It's service with a smile thanks to friendly chef and counter assistant Anne-Marie who is pictured with owner Josuva. Pictures: DGS

On its Facebook page, T's Café says that the "sparkling new business" has "bright airy premises [and] fresh food guaranteed, cooked to order". The "super friendly service" comes via chef and counter assistant Anne-Marie.

Josuva said: "We obviously cannot have people in the café during lockdown but we have an extensive and delicious menu with a fast delivery service to your home. Our Ceylon chicken curry has really been popular as a takeaway but we also do pizzas and burgers."

After the recent closure of Temptations toy and gift shop on Rotterdam Street, Josuva bought a lot of the stock for his ground floor shop situated below the café.

The shop is deceptively spacious and stretches way back from the newspapers and magazines at the front to kids' toys and pet treats at the rear end.

Josuva shows that there is more to his ground floor shop than just selling newspapers and has everything from dog chews to children's toys and stationery.
Josuva shows that there is more to his ground floor shop than just selling newspapers and has everything from dog chews to children's toys and stationery.

"We have toys, gifts, party items, stationery and many other things. I think more people should think about buying local as it keeps the town centre alive," said Josuva.

He thinks that people often "wrongfully" believe that supermarket prices are better and should take more time to visit local shops to see the good deals on offer.

Popular staff member Jarvis manning the counter of the Jim Bews newsagent shop below T's café.
Popular staff member Jarvis manning the counter of the Jim Bews newsagent shop below T's café.

"There are regular customers who have been getting freshly cooked meals as takeaways since we started the service and we expect this to be even more popular due to the new lockdown restrictions."

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