A COUPLE have taken their first steps to a future business empire by opening their first cafe together in Bradford.

Sarah Roberts and Dave Rudge, both 42, have taken over the Lunchbox cafe and take-away, in Leeds Road.

Miss Roberts, who used to live in Shipley, is a former child minder and Mr Rudge has been in the catering industry for more than 20 years.

They hope to stamp their own mark on the business and will eventually change its name to the Cosey Cuppa.

The idea of buying and running a cafe together came to the couple, who have five children between them from previous relationships, during a holiday they shared in the south west of England earlier this year.

On their return they looked for a site closer to their home in Bramley, Leeds and opted for the Bradford cafe.

It is a further family affair as Miss Roberts’ son, Joshua, 16, works at the cafe every Saturday.

Miss Roberts, who took over the cafe last month, says she wants the business to move away from the traditional greasy spoon stereotype and is branching out its menu with Gluten free options.

It also maintains its regional roots by only serving customers Yorkshire Tea.

She adds that she hopes it will attract more families to eat and drink there and it has already proved popular with its existing customers.

Miss Roberts said: “It feels really good to be open. It is our first business together as a couple. I was a bit nervous about it, but it’s really working out well. We are in the process of changing its name to the Cosey Cuppa.

“It is Dave’s dream to expand and open up, and have a few Cosey Cuppas across Yorkshire. This is the start of his dream to run it.”

She added: “It has been a long running business before. We have changed the hours and gone from closing at 2pm weekdays, to 3pm.

“I have not run a cafe before, I have worked as a child minder before.

“We have been together nearly two years and it does seem like a big commitment to do this.

“We try to work it out between us; Dave is in the kitchen and I work at the front of house. We want families to come in, there is a broad range of customers.

“The reaction from our customers has been really good. Some made comments about a change of owner.”

The Lunchbox is open between 7am and 3pm weekdays and between 8am and 2pm on Saturdays.