Ben & Ella's Farm Shop in Baythorne Hall near Haverhill has got off to a 'positive' start
A young couple who formerly worked in a Michelin-starred restaurant have opened a farm shop in a converted barn just a few miles from Haverhill.
Ben Clark, 29, and Ella Smart, 22, opened Ben and Ella’s Farm Shop, in Baythorne Hall, next to the A1017 between Sturmer and Baythorne End, early last month.
The couple met four years ago while working at Alimentum, the now-closed restaurant in Cambridge.
Since then Ben, who trained in Switzerland in the arts of pastry and chocolate-making before going on to become a self-taught baker, and Ella, who has studied catering and pastry arts at a college in Cirencester, progressed to launching Ben and Ella’s Bakery, before then jumping at the chance to open the new shop.
Ella said: “This place just came up out of the blue. We moved to Haverhill in June.
“We didn’t know about it before and two girls who work for me now, who we used to deliver bread to, approached me and said ‘how do you feel about opening a deli and we will work for you’.
“Now we have something to really be proud of each other for and we both work on one side of the business each.”
Ella runs the shop and Ben continues to bake the bread, baking six nights per week, from 9.30am until 7pm each night, before delivering the bread to a range of independent cafés, restaurants, shops (including their own) and delis.
Alongside a cheese counter boasting almost 40 British cheeses, the shop offers a range of seasonal vegetables, nuts, milk, chocolate, biscuits, a charcuterie, cards made by Ella’s auntie – and plenty more besides.
Last Saturday, to complement the shop, Morgan’s Butchery, opened its doors in the neighbouring unit.
Products are sourced from directly from more than 50 suppliers and the couple makes sure that nothing sold has any palm oil in it and that all of the packaging is biodegradable. Milk, for example, is only sold in glass bottles.
Ella added: “We have received such fantastic feedback. Everyone has been so excited and everyone has been so positive. This time six months ago it was not something we thought would ever happen so quickly.”