A FORMER chef has created a ‘home away from home’ through a cosy café in Poole.

Canford Nest, based in the Neighbourhood Centre off Culliford Crescent, is the Daily Echo’s Trader of the Week.

Tracey Stevens, owner of Canford Nest, opened her dream coffee shop in December 2023 after she and her family moved to the area from Kent.

Bournemouth Echo: Canford Nest

“When we lived in Kent there was a coffee shop we loved called The Nest,” said Tracey.

“The children loved it and it felt very homely.

“It was the kids’ idea that I should open something similar.”

Tracey began her experienced career as a chef for various venues before working in events managements, specialising in weddings.

Bournemouth Echo: Canford Nest

After taking time off to have her three children, aged 14, 12 and nine, Tracey re-trained as an early years practitioner.

Now Tracey has combined all her skills in her café, offering home-made treats, occasion cakes, buffets and kids party cupcake decorating.

“Our ethos is homemade,” said Tracey.

“We make sausage rolls that come from a family butchers.

“People expect good quality and we want to offer that for a reasonable price.”

Not only does Canford Nest offer delicious bakes, breakfasts and lunches, but Tracey has collaborated with local artists to sell their work inside her venue.

Bournemouth Echo: Canford Nest

From art work and locally illustrated books to hand-made jewellery created on the side by a nurse.

“They are supporting us and we are supporting them.

“It brings the community together.”

Canford Nest has proven popular with residents after a fully-booked Mother’s Day event hosting afternoon tea.

Tracey added the site has recently secured a licence to serve prosecco alongside the afternoon teas.

Bournemouth Echo: Canford Nest

Alongside everyday favourites, Tracey experiments with her culinary skills to create fun and on-trend cakes.

“We have customers come in and recommend me recipes, they get really excited,” said Tracey.

She joked that her children give very honest critiques and recently gave their approval for the newly launched milkshakes.

Tracey added: “We have lots of regular customers.

“People are really supportive and we could not have asked for more.”