Celebrating her first year in business – and a return to good health – is tea shop owner Elaine Roy.
Her dream of being her own boss appeared to be in jeopardy after she was diagnosed with cancer. But two weeks after she finished her treatment, she opened The Village Tea Room.
This week there were balloons and cake shared with the customers of the tea shop in Stenhousemuir to mark the special event.
Elaine (49), of Larbert, has spent most of her life working in the area and was keen to continue.
She spent several years at the TSC call centre then took a break before joining bakery firm Mathiesons.
However, when the company was closing the shop in King Street she realised there was an opportunity to build on the couple of tables it had to offer teas and coffees.
She said: “I thought it was an ideal opportunity to open the tea shop that I’d been thinking about for some time. I was lucky enough to get the lease from Falkirk Council and it all took off from there.”
Financial support from TSB and advice from Business Gateway all helped take her plans forward.
Following her cancer diagnosis, Elaine said her tea room gave her something to focus on during radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
She is helped in the business by husband Alexander, who has been a baker with Mathiesons for the last 35 years, and her daughter Louise (27), who works in sales for the same company.
Part-time assistant Jennifer Salt (65) of Grangemouth, was recovering from breast cancer when she began working in the tea shop.
Elaine added: “We were a right pair at the start with our wigs because we’d lost our hair during treatment. But we’re here and celebrating. Our customers have come from all over and we want to thank them for their support.”