The life-changing moment that made dreams a reality

bus  Pictured from left outside Tiffanys in Starbeck are Abbie Mears, Jill Mears, Sophie Evans, Ev Buckle and Katie Philipson.  (120720M6b)
bus Pictured from left outside Tiffanys in Starbeck are Abbie Mears, Jill Mears, Sophie Evans, Ev Buckle and Katie Philipson. (120720M6b)
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When Ev Buckle woke up from a five hour life-saving operation last August, the school teacher of 26 years knew he would never return to the classroom.

“On the afternoon that I awoke from surgery, I realised I had been given a second chance at life and I made the decision to follow my dream of running a business with my partner Jill,” he says.

Ev had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2010, at the age of 49. The news came almost nine years to the day after his father’s death from the same disease.

Less than a year after the surgery, Ev and Jill became the new owners of Tiffanys Caffe Bar on Starbeck High Street, Harrogate, fulfilling their ambition of running a coffee shop and tea room.

For Jill, it was a particularly poignant moment, marking not only a new era for her and Ev, but also turning into reality a dream of her mother, who died in 2006.

“My mum would be so proud,” says Jill, who has named Tiffanys’ afternoon tea after her mother, Anna Jane.

“She was from Wales and she loved the Yorkshire tea rooms and coffee shops. She always used to say how she would love to retire up here and open a tea room.”

Ev and Jill looked for premises in Leeds, Wakefield and Harrogate before spotting Tiffanys, which stood out “because it was a little bit different with quite a continental feel”.

The cafe had already been trading for three years under Thomas and Sharon Hardy, and Ev and Jill plan to run it in the same vein. All products are locally sourced, and the cafe caters for coeliacs and vegetarians. Ev and Jill are also qualified baristas and offer a range of coffees.