Published: 12:22, 15 May 2019
| Updated: 12:41, 15 May 2019
A new ice cream parlour with a focus on community socialising has opened.
The new venue on Rendezvous Street in Folkestone threw open its doors for the first time on Saturday, May 11, selling Carte D'Or flavours.
The new eatery, set up by Monika Drozd, is her first venture in Kent.
The 38-year-old from Barking in London said the opening was impromptu after feeling inspired to set up shop in the seaside town to create work for her friends that live there.
The owner said: "It was not planned. Three months ago we looked around all the streets. It was the first premises I had seen and I knew it would be a perfect spot for it."
The shop will also sell Big Friendly Coffee, which was Ms Drozd's first business in Barking.
While Ms Drozd's store is not a franchise, she says she approached Unilever, a company that oversees some of the biggest household named brands, to use their products: "They are an amazing company in working with new businesses."
But the businesswoman wants to make the venue more than just a gelateria, and make it a space for community uses too.
Having researched the area, Ms Drozd felt Folkestone was similar to her experience of Barking: "There's educated, wealthy people and less fortunate people.
"We have a premises that can be used by the community that can be used for anything that people want to do and we don't charge people for it.
"It's the kind of environment that we'd like to facilitate."
The scheme, that's already running in her London venue, has included events such as family fun days, art classes and book swap sessions.
The venue is undergoing renovations in order to make this a possibility in Kent.
She added that this twist on her business means there is room for them in the Folkestone market, among other eateries: "I'm not money motivated - I'm project motivated. We are doing a slightly different business. We would never want to be in competition - we are a small independent business."
The parlour will be open everyday from 10am to 6pm. A grand opening will take place within the next few weeks.
Several other activities have been announced in the lead up to summer for Folkestone this week, including the Harbour Arm's summer film schedule.
More by this authorMolly Mileham-Chappell