New bus depot café serves up a journey back in time

Serena Todd and Amanda Cooper at The Good Old Days Cafe on Chapel Street.
Serena Todd and Amanda Cooper at The Good Old Days Cafe on Chapel Street.

A new café has opened at the Belper bus depot, with its owners promising a taste of times past.

Serena Todd and Amanda Cooper opened the doors to the Good Old Days Café on Chapel Street after years of looking for the right opportunity and months of refurbishment.

Serena, a singer and former music teacher, said: “We always wanted to work together and I love cooking. I’m really passionate about food.

“I’m also into vintage things, and we thought it would be good idea for a traditional cafe where people can sit and read books about the history of Belper.”

As well as books, the pair have spent years scouring antiques shops for memorabilia, newspapers and photos to decorate the walls.

Serena said: “It started with a donation from Amanda’s grandparents, but it’s been really interesting to go around the charity shops.

“We found a photo of the first car ever to come to Belper, and there are lots of little stories like that.”

Within days of opening, the café has been warmly welcomed by the community.

Serena said: “We’ve had really good feedback from tourists and people coming in just to reminisce and tell us about their old factories and workplaces. The mayor popped in to, and he loved what we’ve done.

“We might eventually do clubs, we want to welcome everyone here as a social hub where they can get together.”

Open Tuesday to Saturday, 8.30am to 3.30pm, the café serves quality produce at affordable prices, including hot and cold drinks, traditional breakfasts, jacket potatoes, soups, farmhouse bread sandwiches, paninis and homemade cakes.

Serena and Amanda also hope to start themed evening meals with live entertainment.