|Location||Roche, St Austell|
Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: Victoria Road, Roche, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 8LQ
ONSITE FACILITIES: BP, Victoria House
By 1986, Little Chef's owners, Forte, had two Little Chef restaurants trading on the A30 between Exeter and Bodmin: a small site at Lewdown and a larger site at Sourton Cross. However, prior to 1986, there were no Little Chefs operating on the Bodmin to Land's End section of the A30 and as the route became increasingly popular with holidaymakers, Forte realised that they would need to increase Little Chef's presence on this section of road. As a result, they started by opening a restaurant at Roche in 1986/87 at a site which was an ideal site for a number of reasons. For starters, it was located on a single carriageway section of road, meaning that the restaurant was accessible and visible to all passing traffic. In addition to this, the restaurant was built alongside a busy filling station which helped to provide extra custom for the Little Chef, not to forget the potential extra custom from the villages nearby.
The site became so popular in fact that Forte decided to add a Little Chef Coffee Stop to the restaurant in the mid 1990s. Coffee Stop was available at 35 other Little Chef sites in the UK and was the perfect option for those who didn't have time to stop, therefore Roche was a site which could serve two sorts of travellers: the ones with time to stop and the ones who were constantly on the move, thus making it a popular site. However, all Coffee Stops across the Little Chef estate, including Roche, closed in 1997 when the brand was discontinued.
By the mid 2000s, it became clear that the A30 between Bodmin and Goss Moor in its single carriageway form was no longer fit to serve the large volume of traffic passing through every day. As a result, this section of road was upgraded to dual carriageway in order to increase traffic capacity. However, during the process, the former A30 in which the Little Chef sat on, was bypassed, meaning that traffic was taken away and therefore making the Little Chef much quieter. However, all was not lost as a new junction was built nearby to the Little Chef, giving then owners, People's Restaurant Group, the confidence to keep the restaurant open and even add their new Coffee Tempo brand alongside it.
Unfortunately, in 2007, Little Chefs parents, who by now were People's Restaurant Group, hit financial problems and the brand was taken by new owners, venture capitalists R Capital. Not all the sites transferred over and Roche was one of the 41 to be closed in 2007.
The Little Chef later became an independent cafe which still had a lot of Little Chef DNA in it. However, this later closed and the building is now occupied by offices