Running a business from home can be a lonely and isolating experience, writes Jo Robinson.

And even if you work for a larger organisation, but are often based at home, it’s easy to crave the banter and swapping of ideas.

Rural small businesses suffer from this in particular, and not being based in a town makes it hard to enjoy contact with others from time to time.

So on March 5, The Kitchen in Farnborough, near Banbury, opened its doors to the home-working community, inviting people to come and enjoy meeting other like-minded individuals at their new co-working hub and café.

The friendly and vibrant restaurant is launching this local co-working initiative, which will be open to visitors and members Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm from here on in, with pancakes and coffee and a customary welcoming smile, so that local home-workers can work and company.

How did this all come about? Along with my other half Anthony Robinson, we own and run The Kitchen and realised we had a large space that was only being fully utilised at weekends and some weekday lunchtimes.

As business owners ourselves, we also needed space from the day-to-day operation of running our businesses, and Anthony and I found it increasingly difficult to find a place to work that didn’t have the noise and franticness of a high street coffee bar or the impersonality of a big chain.

“Then we realised we already had the space, layout, facilities, and the motivation to support local home-workers and businesses. Luckily superfast fibre optic Wi-Fi had reached the village, and we have plenty of table space to put a laptop, alongside a sour dough toast bar for breakfast, deli-style grazing for lunch, sweet treats for when you need a sugar boost, and tea, coffee, or even a beer if you so desire?”

The Kitchen doesn’t charge for table space, as long as customers buy a coffee, or perhaps a light lunch if they have time.

Oxford Mail:

“All in all,” says Anthony, “We feel very happy with this evolution. Having occupied the same successful restaurant space for the last 18 years, we love this new community step that The Kitchen is taking.

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Mid-week the space is buzzing, today for example, we have a social media workshop for local businesses, a yoga workshop next Tuesday, an Easter wreath workshop in March and then on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, our busy, buzzy restaurant fills up with families, couples, walkers and foodies, serving great British Food - unctuous ox cheek, popular fishcakes, pies and a delicious vegan dish, not to mention our pork scratchings -which one customer travels 30 miles for most weekends!”

It has breathed life back into our rural pub restaurant, and is more vibrant thanks to the entrepreneurs, business owners and home-workers, swapping their offices or kitchen tables for ours.”

  • The Kitchen, Main Street, Farnborough, Nr. Banbury
  • 01295 690615