A UNIQUE salon is welcoming customers to have a cream tea with their haircut in Cullompton.
La Bella, in Higher Street, opened at the end of May with a different approach to hairdressing.
The premises includes a coffee shop and a gift shop and involves the specially trained stylists doubling up as baristas and sales assistants.
Annie Ellis, 37, originally from Wales, came up with the idea after looking for a bigger outlet for her business. The award-winning hairdresser has worked as a celebrity stylist and on cruise ships and as a lecturer in hairdressing at City College, Plymouth, before running the salon at Padbrook Park, Cullompton, in May, 2012. The new salon is an extension of the Padbrook site but in a more central location.
She said: "The feedback we've had since opening has been amazing. Everyone has said how lovely it makes the town look because we are one of the first shops you see as you come into the town.
"I've done so much to the shop because it was looking really run down. I can't believe what we've achieved in such a short time."
Annie also says customers do not have to a haircut and they are more than welcome to pop in for a drink or a chat.
"We have one customer who is 79 and lost her husband at the beginning of the year. She started coming to us after she was let down by her mobile hairdresser. Now she comes in once a week for a cup of tea."
In the gift shop there is a variety of goods including jewellery, Fair Trade products, greeting cards, clothes, shoes and handbags. There is also a food section offering local produce including free-range, eggs, home-made cakes and pastries.
There is also a garden and patio area where Annie hopes to encourage children to grow vegetables and herbs which can be used in treatments.
Equality and diversity is at the heart of the business for Annie and she employs a Polish-speaking stylist as well as advertising in Polish on a chalkboard outside.
"Diversity is really important to me, especially from my lecturing at the college," added Annie.
The salon may have only been open for two months but already the client base is growing rapidly and Annie is looking to expand.
"We also have two apprentices at the moment and we are looking for another stylist who is local and maybe fancies a bit of a change.
"My future plans are to do exactly the same in Wellington and open a salon there next year."
Cullompton Traders Association has welcomed Annie's venture. Michael Speirs, secretary, said: "It's good news for us and it reflects well on the town."