Benji’s cafe owner in Battle calls it a day

Ben Rogers outside Benji's in Battle
Ben Rogers outside Benji's in Battle

A coffee shop owner is bidding a final farewell to his customers on Saturday (June 13).

Benji Rogers, 52, who runs Benji’s in Market Square, Battle, with his sister-in-law, Suzanne Rogers, has been at the shop for the last 15 years.

He has decided to call it a day because of health reasons and his lease expires on Saturday.

He said: “It’s the end of an era and I would like to thank all of my customers who have supported us over the last 15 years.

“It will be sad to go but my lease is due to expire and my health is not good. But as they say, as one door closes, another one opens.”

Benji has run the cafe since April 2000 when his late mother, Pearl, who liked to be known as Pearly and who passed away in September 2007, helped pay for the lease.

Last year he was presented with an award, sponsored by insurance firm Hastings Direct, for his work in the community.

Benji has hosted regular bingo sessions and children’s parties at the cafe over the last 15 years, as well as fundraising for several charities, including Barnardo’s and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

He also held a Christmas charity bingo event two years ago in aid of St Leonards-based charity St Michael’s Hospice, which looked after his mother.

Benji told the Observer: “I have enjoyed interacting with the customers over the years.

“The cafe was one of those places that was more of a meeting place, rather than a coffee shop.

“I would often sit with customers and chat to them during breakfast and lunch. It was really nice.

“The biggest thing I have enjoyed doing was organising the children’s parties and bingo events for the community. We held our last bingo event on Wednesday night (June 10).”

Benji’s will be taken over and run by Gladys Catt.

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