KAREN Kheir wants to be a role model for her children. She wants to show them if you work hard then you can achieve anything.

In order to do this, she has taken a leaf from the lyrics to Paul McCartney’s song Tug of War which state: In a time to come, In a time to come we will be dancing to the beat played on a different drum.”

The different beat or different drum is actually very apt as Karen, who runs K’s Kitchen at 1 Magdalene Lane, Taunton, used to be a professional dancer and a dance teacher.

But she has given up the life of a cabaret artist for baguettes, baps, sandwiches, wraps, paninis and toasties, which are all enjoyed by her customers, her new-found fans.

Karen can be described as a ‘people person’, she has never had an office job or sat behind a computer, indeed one of her staff said she was ‘the most people person he had ever worked with’.

He did not know how she could do so many tasks and still find time to talk to the customers in the sandwich bar.

In true showbusiness fashion, Karen is following her dreams of running her own business.

“I will have been open two years soon,” she said.

“I used to do dance, teach dance and do cabaret but the time came when this opportunity came up and it was one of those things that if I did not try it I would never know.

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“This premises has always been a food establishment, so I run it and my husband works next door in the barbers.

“Every day is different, you never know what is going to happen.

“I love everything about it; the friendly faces, the chat, the whole thing, which is the service for people.

“I like all the customers who come in, those who like the same thing every day to those who try something different.

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“I enjoy putting together whatever combinations my customers want and even coming up with a few of my own, like Mars and marshmallow Tiffin.

“I do appreciate my customers and look forward to seeing them, whether it is for breakfast when they want their sausage and bacon baps, or at lunchtime when they want a bap or a sandwich.

“What is good is we make things fresh for people when they come in and can make anything they want.

“I just enjoy the business as when it comes to cooking there are endless possibilities and suggestions as to what people want in their sandwiches etc.”

Karen learnt the hard way when it came to business about not doing it all herself.

For the first year she did it alone and did very well, but when the queue in the cafe got too long, people would walk out as they did not want to wait.

It was then she realised she needed help and that was why she employed a colleague, Sebastian.

From then on it became easier to run her business with an extra pair of hands on deck.

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Reflecting on what she has learnt in her what will nearly be two years in the Summer, Karen said: “I am learning all the time. I always wanted to show my children (aged 10 and 9) you can do anything, nothing is impossible. In life you have always got to give it a go and if you do you can achieve that goal.

I have told them whatever you put into life you will get out of it.

“I am very optimistic, I think you have to be in life.”

That optimistic approach is clearly working with K’s Kitchen.

One of the reviews written on the business Facebook page from Ami Louise Blackburn said: “While in Taunton for 4 months we regularly visited K’s Kitchen for lunch..

"Owned by the lovely, Karen. Super polite and friendly and always asked about our day and how our little boy was. Food is amazing - highly recommend the southern fried chicken and sweet chilli sauce wrap can’t recommend this place enough for a cheap and delicious lunch!

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If we ever visit Taunton again - K’s will be our first stop...”

There are lots of things on the menu board at K’s Kitchen which includes: - Baguettes, baps, sandwiches, wraps, paninis and toasties

- Bacon/BLT n Bacon and Sausage n Bacon, sausage and egg

- The Full Monty (bacon, sausage, egg and mushrooms)

- Homemade Chilli beef and Cheddar

- Cheese and coleslaw n Tuna Mayo

- Egg mayo

- Bacon, brie and cranberry

There are also pastries and pasties plus jacket potatoes. You can also enjoy specials which include:

- Coronation chicken with/ without salad in a baguette, bap, sandwich or wrap

- Southern fried chicken with cheese, salad and sauce in a baguette or wrap n Chicken, mature cheddar and sweet chilli BBQ sauce in a hot wrap or toastie

- Prawns in Marie rose sauce in your choice of bread or wrap, with/without salad

- Smoked salmon and cream cheese served in your choice or bread/wrap with/without

- Goats cheese and roasted veg hot wrap with chorizo

-Gammon ham, homemade onion chutney and mature cheddar in a hot wrap or toastie

- Pulled pork with BBQ or apple sauce and cheese in your choice of bread.

K’s Kitchen open Monday to Friday 8am-3pm. Tel: 07415 899327