BRAINTREE'S newest coffee shop will open tomorrow during a grand opening ceremony.

MP James Cleverly is set to cut the ribbon around 10am to mark the official launch of Toast on High Street.

The new cafe offers customers the chance to choose from 135 different spreads to put on a slice of toast, which can be enjoyed alongside a classic hot drink.

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The spreads on offer include Tiptree jams, Marmite, nut based butters, chocolate spreads and even sprinkles.

Toasties are available on the lunch menu, while there are also light snacks, cold drinks and vegan options.

Chophouse owner Rob Ely is launching the venture along with the help of Dan Pearson and Louis McNamee.

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Rob says he first had the idea of a 'toast' style coffee shop 12 years ago and has given the cafe an upmarket feel. Despite the stylish look, he says prices will be less than neighbouring Costa.

Seating areas inside the shop are available on the ground floor and the basement area, which has been given a major makeover ahead of the launch.

While giving the Times a first-look around Toast on Thursday, Rob said: "There was a wall in the basement so we just saw it as a storage area and nothing more.

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"But we knocked down the wall and found out we had a lot more space so fixed it all up into a nice seating area.

"We've been working on the shop for about two months so it's been a quick turn around.

"The idea for this coffee shop has been in my head for a long, long time, purely because it appeals to everyone.

"There's no reason why it won't work, so long as we get the content right.

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"It's a big gamble but it will be one of those ideas where if it was to be successful in a few years time, people would be kicking themselves they hadn't thought of it.

"Toast gives us a unique selling point. It appeals to the toddler who wants a slice of toast when their mum or dad is grabbing a coffee, the fitness buff who wants some protein from a nut-based spread, or even the pensioner who wants their marmalade they have every day."

Fresh bread will be delivered to the coffee shop on a daily basis, and Rob and his team will be out on the High Street today offering shoppers a taste of the teas and coffee which will be on offer.

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As chairman of the Braintree Town Partnership which aims to promote business in the town, he sees the launch of Toast as an example of his vision to evolve Braintree town centre into a place for people to east, drink and socialise.

He added: "One of the reasons I wanted to set this up here is because of my role in the town partnership and I really believe in Braintree.

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"I think with the right people and the right ideas, we will turn the town around. Pedestrianisation will play a big part in this but we need everyone to get involved and help.

"This is a pilot but if this one works, we're hoping to set up a couple more.

"It would be exactly the same as this. We would pick up and take it to other places. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, we need to see if this works first."

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