Former MoD police officer Paul Findlay’s long wait to open his own cafe came to an end last Saturday, when customers came into Findlay’s for the first time.

Mr Findlay worked for the MoD at Boscombe Down, Amesbury, for 20 years, before using his redundancy money to set up the cafe in Warminster.

The 53-year-old planned to move into The Gorge when it closed, but was unable to secure a lease, so waited for another place to become available and then for planning permission.

His cafe, in a former toy shop in Three Horseshoes Walk, offers homemade favourites such as cottage pie, as well as baguettes, sandwiches and salads.

Mr Findlay, of East Street, said: “I have always wanted to own my own business and when The Gorge became available I thought it would be ideal, but when that fell through I had to wait.

“Eventually, the old toy shop became available, but we still had to get planning permission and meet the building control regulations, which took longer than we anticipated.

“It’s great to finally be open and we have been delighted with the number of people we have had so far, especially as the snow at made it difficult for many to come out.

“Warminster has been really supportive. We will take suggestions from customers about food and, if a particular dish is popular, we will put it on the menu.”

Mr Findlay is running the cafe with his partner, Jenny, and has previous experience in catering after serving in the Royal Navy as a cook for 12 years.

Snow stopped the delivery of his freezer before the cafe’s opening day.

He said: “We still have some little touches to finish off, like getting the menus printed and the blackboards with specials up. However, considering what we’ve had to deal with, the first week couldn’t have gone any better.”