‘WE are overwhelmed and so thankful that the community have come out to support us’.

Those are the words of the manager of Mellor and Black Enchanted tea Room as the venue in the former Ena Shaw building continues to be a popular site – weeks after the opening.

As the Star previously reported, Mellor & Black Enchanted Tea Gardens transformed the downstairs space of the former Ena Shaw furniture store on Duke Street, St Helens.

Alongside the cafe is an upcycling shop, titled Made Up, which stocks upcycled furniture following donations.

St Helens Star: Mellor and Black Enchanted Tea RoomsMellor and Black Enchanted Tea Rooms (Image: Mellor and Black Enchanted Tea Rooms)

Both are being run by the St Helens charity Teardrops and the funds from both go back into the charity.

The former homeware store, which had been empty for several years after Ena Shaw's collapse, has been repurposed by local businessman Stephen Palfrey.

The opening of Mellor & Black Enchanted Tea Gardens has been a hit with the St Helens public, with the spacious eatery packed out at lunch times.

Denise Kelly, cofounder of Teardrops said: “We thought we’d do well at the beginning with people coming to have a nosey and support Teardrops by eating at Mellor and Black.

“But we could never have believed how popular we are, sometimes people can’t get a seat, they have to book ahead and we think that’s down to the reasonable prices.

St Helens Star:

“The foundation of Teardrops is helping the community, so Mellor and Black gives back to that community as well as every penny after paying costs and the staff goes into Teardrops to help St Helens.

“It’s an affordable menu but its also a safe space for everyone, that’s the aim and no-one needs to be isolated.

“We thought that if we did it right at the right price it might do well, but this is beyond what any of us was expecting.

“We are overwhelmed and so thankful that the community have come out to support us, we are doing really well and that’s thanks to the St Helens community.”

Manager Katrina Farrimond, who is also the volunteer coordinator for Teardrops added: “The public reaction has been amazing.

St Helens Star:

“What I was pleased about is some people came and then found out it helps Teardrops so they felt even better spending their money here knowing it’s going back into their community to help anyone in need.

“We thought it would be busy for the first few weeks, but we are busier than we could ever imagine, so much so we are taking on an assistant cook, and we are working with DWP and St Helens College to allow students to do placements with us for work experience.

“Seeing it so full is just lovely because we worked so hard to pull it together.”