The Waterside Cafe at Farmoor Reservoir has reopened with a brand-new look and the aim of becoming a community hub.

Rachel Blackie, owner of the successful home bakery Roo's Kitchen on Hailey Road in Witney, has taken over operations of the cafe at the home of Oxford Sailing Club.

Beckenham native Rachel Black moved to Witney in 2019 with her partner.

After starting a teaching job in Carterton, the pandemic hit, leaving her stressed and isolated.

With encouragement, she took a bold step in 2021 - leaving a decade-long career in teaching to pursue her true passion of baking by starting Roo's Kitchen.

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Supplying goods to Eynsham Country Markets connected her to a new community, despite being decades younger than the typical seller.

Word quickly spread, with Ms Black regularly selling out at markets across the region.

Two years later, the idea of running her own cafe began to grow, but she waited until finding the perfect location at the reservoir.

Ms Black instantly fell in love with the space which has amazing views over the water.

In just one week, Ms Black has transformed the cafe with inviting artwork and offerings from local producers.

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For opening day, her sister pitched in, making it a true family affair.

She said: "It’s pretty surreal standing here, looking at what’s going to be my café, with one of the most beautiful views in all of Oxford.

"I'm so grateful to bring my baking into a buzzing community space. Seeing customers light up reminds me why I took the leap into doing what I love."

The rebranded cafe will focus on high-quality, fresh ingredients and local produce whenever possible.

It will be open 8.30am to 5.30pm daily and serve coffee from Dark Horse Coffee, eggs from Mayfield Eggs, and breads from The Natural Bread Company.

All baked goods will be made in-house by Ms Black and her team.

The menu will feature brunch, lunch, sandwiches, salads, cakes, and daily specials.

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Over the coming weeks, Ms Black plans to give the space a colourful, plant-filled makeover to create a warm, welcoming environment.

She said: "I want the cafe to become a true community hub, open to both visitors and members."

With unbeatable views of the water, she also looks forward to hosting evening pop-up events once up and running.

"The only downside is that the cafe cannot allow dogs due to reservoir rules," she said. "But as a dog owner myself, I hope canine companions can still enjoy walks along the river before or after their owners stop in."

Ms Black is also looking for enthusiastic new team members to join her growing café.