Take a look at Wellingborough councillor's Ugly Mug

The Ugly Mug cafe will serve premium brand coffees and locally sourced food

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 1:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 1:31 pm

A Wellingborough man who is so proud of his town that he has ploughed his savings into a new business will open a town centre cafe and eaterie.

Jon Ekins, a town councillor and an electrical engineer by trade, has been busy preparing the Church Street premises ready for the opening of Ugly Mug - a coffee shop.

The name was chosen by Jon's daughter Abby as a jokey tribute to her dad's appearance after his rugby playing days.

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He said: "My daughter came up with the name Ugly Mug. I'm no oil painting you just have to look at me to see that. It's a talking point and it's also a play on words."

The coffee shop will feature top quality handmade coffees and teas as well as locally-sourced light bites but also snacks with a Welsh influence as a tribute to his mum Lily's Betws-y-Coed roots.

"There are coffee shops but we will offer speciality blends of a single origin there's nobody else doing this that I know in Wellingborough.

"We've had enough of mediocre. We're not putting down our opposition. I have always wanted to do something different. It's very much a family affair with all of us helping out."

Jon Ekins

The 57-year-old has been helped by daughter Abby and her fiance Stefan Popovic who have designed the decor and branding whilst wife Jackie, son Tom and his partner Rosie will also be working on the project.

Mr Popovic said: "The design is very simple with a monochrome colour palette. We want it to be a place for everyone. It's designed very much around Jon - an ugly mug on the outside but on the inside a warm wonderful person, like a mug of top quality coffee."

Mr Ekins, a former rugby player with Wellingborough OGs, will be supporting the Northampton Saints Foundation by stocking their 'Marching In' blend of single origin speciality coffee from Brazil and Colombia and supplied by Bella Barista in Nene Court, Wellingborough.

The simple menu will feature freshly prepared snacks and sandwiches, toasties and croissants with locally sourced ingredients and produce partnered with some Welsh cheeses and pickles. The bread will be supplied by the Market Square Bakery in Higham Ferrers.

Ugly Mug will be at the heart of the historic centre of Wellingborough

Mr Ekins plans to use all three floors for seating with the basement space available to used as a venue for business and leisure events.

He said: "It's an amazing building in an amazing location. We have the church nearby and the college is just over the road. There's plenty of free parking and we are providing free WiFi. There will be a quieter study zone where people can plug in."

The outdoor decking will also increase capacity for the venue.

He said: "We've planned this very much with Covid in mind. We will have socially distanced tables on all floors with accessible space for wheelchair users.

The first floor

"We hope to have a mums and tots club inspired by our granddaughter Deliah who will be one next month.

"I am self funding this because I believe in the town. I believe in Wellingborough."

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Mr Ekins will transform the empty unit into modern coffee shop
The atrium