The Lawson's celebrate 20 years of the Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge (1)

Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge on High Street are celebrating 20 years of business, writes Jonathan White.

Owners Steve and Denise Lawson opened the premises back in November 2003.

The couple, originally from South Africa, moved to England 22 years ago to start a new life with their two daughters, Samantha and Christine.

They took over the distinctive 16th century timber-framed town centre Bookshop building in 2003 and added the Coffee Lounge a year later.

In 2014 Steve and Denise were picked as one of a handful of businesses around the UK to star in BBC reality series, ‘Million Dollar Intern’.

The show was aired around the world from Norway to New Zealand and featured young entrepreneur, Gary Martin, working as an intern at their then struggling store.

Following the advice given by Gary, the couple upgraded the kitchen, added a barista station, extended the coffee shop opening hours to include Sundays and Bank Holidays, and added book-related themes to already popular evening supper clubs.

They also successfully applied for a licence and were the first business in the town to add al fresco dining in 2005, with gazebos and outdoor heaters added during and after the Covid pandemic.

The business has recovered from the pandemic into a thriving independent bookshop and café business and employer.

The family held a celebratory 20th birthday event at Malbank School earlier this month.

Denise said: “Starting a new life 22 years ago, in a new country with young children, at almost 40 years of age is a challenge.

“Steve and I love challenges. We have never regretted our choice of settling in Crewe/Nantwich. We love our shop.

“With it comes all our amazing staff, customers and suppliers, none of whom we could survive without.

“Many have become friends and we have had amazing support over the years, through various challenges; first Amazon with online sales, then the Banking crisis in 2007/2008, then Covid and latterly the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Thank you from Steve, Samantha, Christine and I.”

Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge in 2023 (1)

Kathryn Rush, Nantwich Bookshop Manager, said: “On behalf of all our customers, staff and suppliers I just want to thank Steve and Denise for their incredible hard work and dedication that has gone into creating the unique place that is Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge.

“To have an independent bookshop in our town is special, to have one within an award-winning coffee lounge, which for many over the years has been a safe haven; a place to meet friends for lunch, somewhere to learn at the events or to party at a supper club.

“I don’t think we always realise how much Nantwich needs a place like this.

“To be a part of this team is a privilege and a pleasure every single day. Nantwich would be poorer without our presence on the High Street.”

For  information on Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge, visit 46 High Street in Nantwich, call 01270 611665, email: [email protected] , or visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.


Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.