Doncaster coffee house realises expansion dream after owner's tragic death at 34

Sharon Thurman at the Jimmy Piggs tea party.

Sharon Thurman at the Jimmy Piggs tea party.

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A Doncaster coffee house has realised the dream of its former owner and dad of four after his tragic death at the age of just 34.

James Ball, owner of Edenthorpe's Jimmy Piggs Coffee House, died unexpectedly earlier this year, halfway through a plan to extend the popular cafe.

Laura Ball, Lydia Ball, Beks Sutcliffe, Ollie McGuire and April Taylor, pictured outside the newly extended Jimmy Piggs Coffee House

Laura Ball, Lydia Ball, Beks Sutcliffe, Ollie McGuire and April Taylor, pictured outside the newly extended Jimmy Piggs Coffee House

Now his family and friends have completed the expansion plan as a legacy to James - and marked the opening with a tea party.

James' widow Lydia said: "The whole place has his personality all around it and I really hope that I have done him proud. His legacy will continue far beyond his life of which not many people can boast."

The pair set up the cafe near to the village's Tesco supermarket two and a half years ago - and the coffee house rapidly became a success.

Added Lydia, 32: "It was my husband's dream and ambition to own a coffee shop that not only served incredible quality coffee and homemade cakes but that would actually make a difference to those who came through the doors.

Abi Ball, pictured serving customers with their food during the Mad Hatters Tea Party at Jimmy Piggs, Edenthorpe.

Abi Ball, pictured serving customers with their food during the Mad Hatters Tea Party at Jimmy Piggs, Edenthorpe.

"We are passionate about our customers and make time to get to know them and genuinely care about them and James devoted hours to spending time with customers always being a welcoming and vibrant character and a consistently friendly face.

"For this reason, the customer base grew and grew and it wasn't long until we were at full capacity on a regular basis."

James secured the letting of a unit next door earlier this year in order to extend the cafe he had already created and to include some much needed extras - such as a customer toilet.

But father of four James died aged just 34 in May - half way into the extension project.

Added Lydia: "As easy as it would have been to not continue with the project, I couldn't do that.

"I had to realise his dream that is now also my dream and for our daughters' future. So with the help of so many people that are just to numerous to name and to whom I am eternally grateful, we have managed to complete our expansion."

The couple, who married when Lydia was just 17, have four daughters - Abi 14, Alice 13, Evelyn, nine, and Eliza, five.

She added: "He was my childhood sweetheart who I married at just 17 and we had just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in March."

The shop marked its opening with a Mad Hatter's tea party which sold out almost instantly.

She added: "We are celebrating both the opening of our extension of Jimmy Piggs and also the life of the man who created it."

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