New Hassocks café opened by charity chief executive

The chief executive of a charity working with homeless and vulnerable people cut the ribbon at the opening of a brand new café and coffee shop in Hassocks.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 4:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 4:42 pm
Cutting the ribbon at the ceremony
Cutting the ribbon at the ceremony

A crowd gathered as Paul Young, of Off the Fence, took part in the opening ceremony of Tea Thyme, in the grounds of Garden Sage nursery, on Saturday (February 8).

Head chef and co-owner Pietro Wasyliw, known as Was, was also in attendance to celebrate the launch of the new venture.

Originally from Aylesbury, Was moved to Burgess Hill about 15 years ago where he ran the Ansty Cross pub until it was sold for housing.

Inside the cafe

He then bought and ran the 8 Bells at Bolney until four years ago, when he then moved to be head chef at South Downs Nurseries garden centre.

Since leaving the 8 Bells pub he had been looking for a café to call his own and saw the ‘to rent’ sign at Allwoods - a business based at the nursery - on his way to work, so he popped in to see owners David and Emma James.

It has taken a month of refurbishments in the building, mostly to get the kitchen exactly as it needs to be.

The venue will enable him to develop and continue his passion for cooking as he draws on his Mediterranean heritage.

For more information about Tea Thyme, visit the website at

Off The Fence is a Brighton-based charity that has been working with the homeless, vulnerable women and children in education since 1997. Find out more at

Garden Sage nursery is also home to Allwoods, the historic mail order plant nursery, clothing store The Godfather, Goldfinch Styling for pre-loved clothing and Woodward & Co and Retro Green which makes bespoke re-purposed rustic furniture and gifts.