Whatamess bubble waffle dessert business to open in Little Teacup in Ashford

A new dessert business offering bubble waffles, sundaes and milkshakes is preparing to open in Ashford after teaming up with a town centre tearoom.

Ashleigh Kennett, from Willesborough, has joined forces with the owners of The Little Teacup to sell desserts from the cafe in Bank Street.

Ashleigh Kennett is bringing bubble waffles to Ashford
Ashleigh Kennett is bringing bubble waffles to Ashford

The 24-year-old started the business – called Whatamess – with her sister during lockdown as a way of bringing a new pudding to Ashford that is not currently on the market.

She perfected the recipe by trialling flavours with family and friends before setting up the takeaway from her home.

Demand became so high for the bubble waffles – which are made in a special honeycomb mould – that she contacted businesses in the town centre asking for help finding a premises which led to talks with Russell and Jacqui Geen from The Little Teacup.

Now with their help, Miss Kennett is getting ready to open in the town on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm to 11pm, and 4pm to 10pm on Sundays.

Miss Kennett will run the business alongside a full-time job at the Brakes food supplier in Kennington.

The Biscoff waffle
The Biscoff waffle

"We started the project in lockdown when everyone was at home and now we've been going for just over a year," she said.

"Demand is so high on Mondays because there is nothing else offering desserts in Ashford that night because Kaspa's is closed.

"At first there were just six or seven waffles on the menu but then we expanded to milkshakes and now we do sundaes too.

"At home I offered a delivery service but right now I'm focusing on finding my feet in the shop and we might look to expand it again in the future."

The Little Teacup will open as normal from 8am to 4pm, then Whatamess will take over the premises from 6pm.

Jacqui and Russell Geen have teamed up with Ashleigh Kennett
Jacqui and Russell Geen have teamed up with Ashleigh Kennett
The Little Teacup in Bank Street
The Little Teacup in Bank Street

The most popular item on the menu is the Milky Way sundae which has chocolate sauce and shavings, vanilla and chocolate ice cream alongside chunks of the chocolate bar.

There is also a gluten free menu.

Entering the catering business is a new experience for Miss Kennett who hopes to learn the tricks of the trade from the Geens who have two successful tea rooms and an outside catering business.

The Little Teacup, a sister business to the Little Teapot in Park Mall, opened in January filling a former sandwich shop unit which closed after just three weeks.

Mrs Geen said: "Ashleigh put out a post and when I read it, it really touched home about how challenging starting a new business can be.

Milky Way sundae is a popular item on the menu
Milky Way sundae is a popular item on the menu
The Oreo waffle
The Oreo waffle

"I was a little bit apprehensive about contacting her at first because we haven’t long been here and we like to master one thing in our business plan before moving on.

"But then we made the connection and realised Ashleigh's message really rang well with our business.

"At the start if we had someone to mentor or ask advice from, it would have been lovely but we have the ability to offer that and see where we can run with that together."

Miss Kennett added: "Having Jacqui and Russell, who have been in the catering industry for so long, mentor me is great for someone who is new.

"I'm going to work alongside their daughters so we're all helping each other."

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