If you’ve ever walked down Kingston Road you would have come across Gooseberry Bush Café and maybe, your eyes might have looked twice. The sign outside says ‘Yoga Studio’ and ‘Therapy Clinic’ in big letters. I love those two words together so I looked closer. If you look hard enough through the window you can see a bunch of ladies sitting around chatting. Ah, how lovely. Must enquire.
That is why Healthy Wimbledon Girl met with Angela, owner, and manager of Gooseberry Bush Café, to find out more.
HWG: How long have you been in Wimbledon?
Angela: I myself have lived in Wimbledon for the past 33 years. Gooseberry Bush has been around for the past 7 years.
HWG: What was your inspiration behind Gooseberry Bush?
Angela: Gooseberry Bush is a culmination of so many things. It’s the coming together of all the skills and things I have learnt along the way, all under one roof.
HWG: What facilities do you offer at Gooseberry Bush?
Angela: Most important to me is that the customer gets to feel at home here. Gooseberry Bush is a combination of a café, a fitness studio, a therapy clinic and a gift shop as well. An all-encompassing wellness hub.
HWG: A café as well as a wellness place?
Angela: Yes, I thought it would be important to have somewhere to meet and chat, after a fitness class or before a therapy appointment. Also, somewhere to relax at any time of the day. We offer free daily newspapers (The Daily Mail, The Times) so it’s nice to know you can call this your home away from home and come and grab something to eat. Always healthy, always freshly made, always a gluten free option which may well include a gluten-free cake as well!
HWG: I notice you hold NCT classes here?
Angela: Yes, I am an NCT antenatal and postnatal teacher myself and we give the studio space free once a week to hold an NCT feeding drop in; I feel that it is important to give something back to the local community. We also teach baby massage classes.
HWG: It sounds as if Gooseberry Bush is the place to be?
Angela: Absolutely. As well as being a teacher I used to be a therapist myself and feel it’s important to provide good quality facilities to others as well as the public.
HWG: You have a gift shop as well I notice?
Angela: Well, I’m sure you know what it’s like. With a young growing family and constant birthday parties and changing needs, I thought it would be easier to have everything under one roof. We have lots of cards, baby shoes, reusable cups, books, mugs, candles. You name it we have it. We also display local artists paintings in the windows. This is definitely a community hub and it’s great.
HWG: Your customers must love you.
Angela: I hope so. There is a very friendly atmosphere here which makes this place a safe haven. It’s the food, the facilities, the tranquility of it all. Naturally, most customers are local and many come here after going next door to the Cherry Pie Music school, or local primary schools such as Pelham or St Mary’s R.C. The café is open all day every day apart from Sundays but the therapy rooms and studios are open every day during the week till 9 pm. We have a lot going on!
HWG: Do you use the Gooseberry Bush facilities yourself?
Angela: All the time. You know how it is. You do different things. At the moment I’m practising yoga with Laura, go to the osteopath Stephanie sometimes and have some aromatherapy massages with Louise too. I also attended the Zest4Life programme with Marcelle and have lost one and a half stone…. so far!
HWG: I’m curious. Do you eat healthy yourself?
Angela: Sure I do. That’s how I can apply all the skills I have learnt to offer balanced meals here at Gooseberry Bush. I happen to follow a gluten-free diet hence always having something to offer for the gluten-free customers.
HWG: What would be your favourite hobby?
Angela: That’s an easy one! I enjoy walking and hiking; so easy to do it here in the UK. I usually go with my husband and there is no need to travel anywhere. There are so many places to see and visit. It’s great!
HWG: Does the tennis fortnight affect you at all?
I definitely enjoyed talking with Angela. What she did tell me but actually, you would need to see it to believe it, is that Gooseberry Bush has so many classes and therapies going on that you would need to go on their website to have a good look. The place is buzzing with professionals of all kind, for babies, teens, adults, health management, weight management. The list goes on. Gooseberry Bush has a very extensive website and it’s a real joy to go through it all. No wonder this is a work from the heart. You can feel Angela’s passion from everything that she has achieved in creating this holistic friendly nurturing welcoming haven in Wimbledon.
You may well ask what else Angela does when she is away from the Centre. As well as walking, she enjoys the cinema and theatre, yoga and swimming. Even though her children are grown up she is still there doing what all mothers and wives do, enjoying the family life. She makes friends with the customers and knows many of them by name. Who would have thought that a girl who grew up in Zambia for part of her youth would end up running a successful holistic center encompassing all the good things she has learnt along the way! What a success story!