Original article from Kent Live
A new cake shop – with a twist – has opened its doors in Tonbridge.
Planet JJs is situated on Quarry Hill, near Tonbridge railway station and just a few shops along from the Lidl store.
This is the first taste of owning a shop for Jed Mayatt, 42, and Jo Brown, 41, after six years of being together, and it certainly isn't like any ordinary cake shop.
As well as being able to buy a tasty snack, customers are also invited to take a seat and play one of the many games available in-store.
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Shelves on the outer walls are stacked with board games for people to play, and there is even a large screen in the far corner for customers to play retro arcade-style games.
Speaking on the inspiration for the idea, Jed said: "I hosted a birthday party for my young son and his friends.
"I looked into hiring a gaming truck but they all seemed quite expensive.
"I decided to set up a few retro games for them and they absolutely loved it.
"This gave me the belief that there's a place for someone to do something with this."
Jo has a passion for baking and it was something she was already doing at home.
'We plugged away with the idea and decided to go for it'
The pair decided to combine their hobbies and came up with the creative idea for the shop.
"We started off on the cake side because that's what I do mainly, and then we expanded from there," she said.
"About three years ago we set up the business and found this perfect place to set up the shop just before the lockdown came along.
"We just plugged away with the idea and decided to go for it since everyone is desperate to just get out and do things now."
The majority of work when setting up the shop was carried out by the couple themselves, and took around two months to completely transform.
With Tonbridge also having hosted its own Comic Con at the Angel Centre in the past, the couple believe there is a strong local interest in the themes they have to offer.
"We want to create a safe, fun and relaxed environment where people can be themselves and enjoy their hobby," Jed added.
"Local groups came by to check us out and to see if this would be a suitable place for them to meet, which is certainly encouraging for us.
"We have really tried to theme everything, even down to the music, to hopefully attract anyone who is interested."
Jo has a registered home kitchen, so all the treats served in store have been specially homemade.
Hot and cold drinks are also on offer, and there is something for everyone, with vegan-friendly and gluten-free items also available.
However, it is not just food and drink which you can buy.
A select number of board games are also available for sale, and gaming-themed clothing is also an avenue the couple may look to explore in the future.
"There is always the option to recruit staff externally if things get a bit too hectic, but we are just seeing how it all goes really," Jo added.
"Friends and family have been really supportive which is great, and the response so far has been very popular.
"We're a nice, small independent business, and just think we can really offer Tonbridge something it's missing."