A TAUNTON tearoom that puts quality at the forefront of its service is still drawing new people to the town – 14 years after it first opened.

Mr Miles, located on High Street, roasts coffee on-site and provides a range of teas and infusions for customers to enjoy.

But it’s more than just a tearoom; Mr Miles also has full breakfast and lunch menus, homemade cakes from its own bakers and a shop with Emma Bridgewater ceramics, Dunoon fine bone china and tea and coffee giftware.

The business launched in February 2010 as a joint venture between Colin Barrell – who used to run the East Street McDonald’s franchise – and DJ Miles and Co., a Porlock-based, family-run tea and coffee company that dates back to 1888.

The tearoom is based on Bettys in Harrogate, Yorkshire – a spot Colin was inspired to try by a former Taunton town centre manager, Lucy Ball.

“She suggested to me that what Taunton really needed was a quintessential English tearoom like Bettys,” said Colin.

“I paid a visit to Yorkshire and saw what it was all about, and I thought something similar would work in Taunton.

“We’ve done it our own way, but there are lots of similarities.”

Somerset County Gazette: Mr Miles opened its doors for the first time in February 2010.Mr Miles opened its doors for the first time in February 2010. (Image: Newsquest)

Colin and Miles were drawn to their premises because of the building’s frontage, character and proximity to a busy thoroughfare.

The shop also has access to an outside space on the High Street, which soon proved its worth as customers made the most of the summer sunshine.

Mr Miles has become a vital part of the High Street with 30 members of staff, and it is often recommended to visitors.

“It’s nice to know that you’re in people’s thoughts and you’ve established yourself as a brand in Taunton,” said Colin.

“We can proudly say that we’re established now, and a lot of people come to Taunton just for Mr Miles.

“And hopefully that helps other businesses around us, as well.”

Customer service is key; upon arrival, guests are greeted at the door and shown to a clean table, where they receive quality service throughout their visit.

Colin added: “It’s not just a little café business; it’s a bit more than that.

We’ve got a great team here. They all strive to give the absolute best service they can.

“The kitchen team provide really good-quality food. It’s all about the presentation and giving the ‘wow factor’ to people.”

This means there are plenty of regular customers, but the business still gets new people through the doors from Somerset and beyond.

Colin said: “We have a lot of people who’ve been coming back year after year.

“Some people come in three, four or five times a week, and we’ve come to know them very well. I’m so grateful for that loyalty, and we should never take those people for granted.

“On top of that, it’s really nice to know that people are still discovering us.

“Whether they’ve known about us before they arrive or they get guided here, it doesn’t really matter, as long as they get a great experience.”

Mr Miles is now taking High Tea bookings for Mother’s Day (Sunday, March 10). To reserve your table, call 01823 322288.

This story is part of our Love Shopping Local campaign. If you want your business to be featured, email tom.leaman@newsquest.co.uk