KATHERINE Williamson couldn’t be happier that she seized the chance to take over a small sandwich shop in Poole’s old town.

“I’ve worked in hospitality for years and this is the loveliest group of people I’ve ever served,” she says.

It was three-and-a-half years ago that Katherine, aged 25, took on the business and renamed it No 1 New St.

The shop, just off the High Street, has a loyal following, serving food to people from nearby employers such as Lush, the RNLI and Sunseeker.

“Ninety per cent of our customers are regulars that work locally to the Quay and the surrounding area, so we know pretty much everyone’s order off by heart and know their names,” says Katherine.

Bread arrives every morning from Cowdry’s bakery in Wimborne. “We make everything, as much as we can, from scratch,” says Katherine.

“We do the standard things and then we have different daily specials. It changes every few days and we keep whatever’s the most popular.

“We’ve always got a vegan option – we have a lot of people in from Lush and a lot of people are trying to be more conscious of what they eat.”

In the winter, there are also hot food options, including jacket potatoes. Fillings might include halloumi and pulled pork.

Katherine knows the preferences of many customers so well that they sometimes leave the choices to her. “They trust me to make it up as I go along,” she says.

The cakes, the flapjacks and the vegan-friendly brownies are also home made. There is a choice of three or four cakes at any one time – at the moment, carrot take, Dorset apple cake and a banana and coconut loaf.

Coffee is from local independent roaster Bad Hand and there is tea and a range of canned drinks.

In the summer, the shop is able to have a seating area outside – which fits well with the atmosphere of the pedestrianised High Street. “People love to sit and chat,” says Katherine.

The pandemic made it clear how much people had grown to love the shop.

“When we had the first lockdown, people were messaging me on Instagram to see when we were going to open and if they could come own and support us, which is really appreciated,” she adds.

“When people were first working from home, there would be one or two days a week when everybody would come down and get a lunch from me. I appreciated that. It makes you feel you’re doing something right.

“We made it through. A lot of people didn’t so we must not be doing too bad.

“I’m glad I took the place because I love it.”

No 1 New Street Sandwich Shop is at 1 New Street, Poole BH15 1JT and is currently open from 9.30am-2.30pm on weekdays (longer hours in the summer). It can be found on Facebook (@no1newst) · and Instagram (@no.1newst)