Teleport to London with Newport’s Kellie’s Cafe

By Rachael Thatcher

Kellie’s Cafe not only offers scones and various muffins, but also individual meat pies, Cornish pasties and Cumberland sausage rolls.

NEWPORT — It was 2013 the first time London native Kellie Cooper noticed the cafe located at 27 JT Connell Highway. Previously called “A Little Cafe,” it also had a sign out front which read “Kelle’s Cafe.”


As Cooper and her husband drove by to meet some friends at OceanCliff, she had him stop so she could take a photo for social media.


It wasn’t their first trip to Newport, and it wouldn’t be their last. Cooper loved vacationing in Rhode Island, and around four years later she had an opportunity to make it her home.


Cooper’s friend was working in a jewelry store in Smithfield and had decided to purchase the business. She asked Cooper to come on as a marketing director, at which point she and her husband decided to take the plunge and move across the pond.


It wasn’t quite that simple, however.


Cooper, who was in the middle of obtaining a green card, was informed by her immigration lawyer that she needed to change plans. The business her friend was running wasn’t in good standing, and the green card wouldn’t be granted.


“I’m too invested in this country, my son goes to school here, I don’t want to leave, I’ve already sold my house, we were having one built,” she recounted saying at the time.


The immigration lawyer told her, “the only way I’d be able to stay is by opening a business,” she said.


“I looked on Buy Biz Sell and the cafe popped up. I phoned my husband in London and said, “David, I’ve found it. The place I took a picture of, we have to go. And he said, ‘You don’t know anything about running a cafe.’”


He wasn’t wrong. “The only person I ever poured a coffee for was myself,” Cooper quipped.


While she didn’t have any business or culinary experience, Cooper decided to go for it and play up what she did know.


That’s where the British theme comes in.


The English decor is apparent as soon as eyes are laid on the building covered with Union Jacks and an image of a double-decker bus on the side.


Kellie’s Cafe not only offers scones and various muffins, but also individual meat pies, Cornish pasties and Cumberland sausage rolls.


Starting Saturday she’s adding a full English breakfast and traditional afternoon tea to the menu.


The tea, complete with Devonshire clotted cream, Tiptree strawberry jam, finger sandwiches and scones, will be by reservation only because the intricate treats are made to order.


“That’s THE clotted cream, and that’s THE jam,” she said, pointing out the imported goods.


Authenticity is important to Cooper, which is why she has just about everything brought over from England. From the tea and cream, to the jam, to the beans for the breakfast and the HP Sauce to top it off, it’s all exactly as you would find it in London. She even drives to Manhattan to get imported Cumberland sausage.


“They’re hard to make well and you do them well,” a happy customer said on his way out of the cafe Tuesday, gesturing to the sausage rolls.


Cooper said the English community has been “coming out of the woodwork,” and she didn’t realize how many people with a similar background were around. She said there have been quite a few Irish people in the cafe as well, who have been asking when she’ll start doing pies. The answer is the fall, when she’ll also be serving up comfort foods like bangers and mash.


In addition to the imported options, the cafe offers bagels, fresh from Bagel Boys in Middletown, and classic sandwiches like warm roast beef with cheddar, BBQ pork with cheddar, tuna melt, turkey club and more.


She also offers catering services, and is in the market of starting baby and bridal showers — a perfect fit for tea parties, she presumes.


As for the future? Cooper hopes to expand, if all goes well, and one day open a traditional fish and chips shop.


CHRIS F., Woodley Park, Washington, DC



"Kellie's is simply wonderful. The food is delicious--authentic English scones with authentic clotted cream and jam, delicious savory sausage rolls, meat pies, afternoon tea... really, one of our favorite spots in Newport. And Kellie is so warm and hospitable--even with our two toddlers in tow!!

My wife and I spend time in England every year and are always craving English food when we return back to the States. Kellie's hits the spot.

If you're a Newport tourist or if you're a native like us, make sure to visit Kellies!"





"Visiting friends in Newport and they wanted to try this new British cafe. The full English set breakfast was fantastic. Kellie was especially excited when I ordered my eggs sunny side up, the "way they are supposed to be!" Black pudding and sausage were great, beans and toast are one of my favorite breakfast items but the real winner was the rasher of bacon. The ice coffees are very generous in size, one of the biggest I've ever been served!! They also offer an array of traditional meat pies and rolls, fresh pastries and breakfast sandwiches. It's a cute cafe, family run by some very friendly and hospitable folks. Highly recommend this for a stop by for anyone in the Newport area."

KERI G., Lincoln, RI



"Such a cute little cafe right off the exit after going over the Newport bridge!! The owner Kellie is so sweet and friendly!! I had the full English breakfast and it was cooked by her English chef! Kellie even had her Mum in the cafe helping her out. Mum was setting up a hutch with all of these beautiful porcelain English tea sets! Very cute and cozy cafe! Great big display of baked goods to choose from including muffins, scones, bagels, turnovers, and traditional English eats too (sausage rolls, meat pies, and Cornish pasties!). Highly recommend!!"

DAVID T., Cumberland, RI



"Stopped by this place the other day as I heard that it was under new management so I thought I would give it a try as it had been a while. To my surprise I was greeted my a British lady who is now the new owner wow loved the accent just to go there to hear that was a huge plus!! I have a breakfast muffin and it was truly delicious I highly recommend this place parking is so easy and a great pit stop for either entering or leaving Newport thanks kellie I will definitely be in again for your delicious food and to hear that great British accent"

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