Wizarding world comes to life as new Harry Potter-inspired cafe proves to have magic touch

A Harry Potter mad couple have conjured up their own cafe shrine to JK Rowling’s magical world.

Jennie Bentley and Ashley Hodgkins
Jennie Bentley and Ashley Hodgkins

Jennie Bentley, aged 30, and her partner Ashley Hodgkins, 27, have opened their Harry Potter inspired cafe in Wednesbury.

The coffee house, called Junction 9 and 3/4, is aptly named, as it sits near to Junction 9 of the M6 which is about three quarters of a mile up the road.

The decor is inspired by the wizarding world and features floating candlesticks, owls and broomsticks.

Jennie Bentley and Ashley Hodgkins

As well as being a businesswoman, Jennie also has a degree in art and has even painted the cafe’s in-house mural of the flying Ford Anglia, seen in the Chamber of Secrets, herself.

Jennie, who previously worked in a school, left her job to start her and her partner’s new business venture after coming up with the idea in lockdown

Jennie said: “Me and my boyfriend are both huge Harry Potter fans and we went to somewhere else before and were a bit disappointed by it, so we thought we would try to do it ourselves.

Jennie Bentley and Ashley Hodgkins

“The idea came out of lockdown really. I left my job to start the cafe and we’re hoping that soon Ashley will be able to leave his job too and work full time here.

“At the moment my mum is helping us out on a voluntary basis, so it is a very family-run business.”

Despite opening during lockdown, so far the cafe has been a hit with the local community.

Jennie Bentley and Ashley Hodgkins

Jennie added: “The cafe officially opened to the public on April 2, but this is just for takeaway at the moment due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“However we have been inundated. We have had so many people coming in and buying cakes, so much so we have struggled to keep up with demand.

“When we opened last week, both Saturday and Sunday we were flat out and had people queuing down the street all day waiting to order.

Jennie Bentley and Ashley Hodgkins

“It has been crazy busy, we offered pre-order boxes and they sold out straight away. Everyone has been so kind, friendly and respectful of the social distancing and safety rules in place. We’ve been so pleased to see how positive the reaction has been so far.”

Although the cafe is open for business, the couple still have lots more ambitious plans to decorate the interior of the cafe and are hoping that by the time they can welcome guests to dine in that the work will be complete.

In the future, the couple hope to offer wizard themed afternoon teas, and crafty workshops such as wand making sessions.

Jennie added: “We are very much looking forward to when we can allow people to come into the cafe and sit in. It will be lovely to see some familiar faces for more than five minutes. We are also dog friendly and welcome people to bring their pets along too.”

Junction 9 and 3/4 is located on Market Place in Wednesbury High Street.

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