The Pear & Olive in Hildersham near Cambridge has opened a purpose-built farm shop and café adjacent to the pub with support from the Community Services Fund.
While the pub has been closed during to the Covid crisis, owners, Gael and Cathryn Lecolley have extended their farm to fork philosophy of fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to open a shop, ‘The Pantry’. With a grant and some support from local advisor, Terry Stork, their inspirational project has become reality.
The Pantry Farmshop and Cafe at Pear & Olive Scratch Kitchen is open on Monday and Wednesday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm and on Sunday from 10am to 3pm and will save villagers a 16-mile round trip to Cambridge for their shopping. The shop provides essential items alongside a rainbow of fresh fruit and vegetables, locally sourced meat and fish and a delicatessen service where customers can order speciality foods. A pretty, outside seating area allows some customers to enjoy drinks and snacks in socially distanced surroundings.
Previously known as the Pear Tree, the pub was reopened in 2018 by the couple after a five-year closure. Gael, a renowned chef from Normandy and his wife Cathryn, a Creative Director/Designer from California, renovated the neglected pub and established a thriving food and drink trade as the Pear & Olive Scratch Kitchen. Gael grows his own herbs and enjoys searching the local farmers markets for the best quality local ingredients.
Gael commented: “We are enormously grateful to Pub is The Hub for believing in our project so that we can broaden our support for local suppliers, the local economy and local people. While many pubs have created temporary shops during the Covid crisis, The Pantry is now a permanent fixture at the Pear & Olive.”
Terry Stork from Pub is The Hub comment: “The Pantry fully complies with the Covid-19 rules making sure that everyone keeps social distancing with a one-in one out policy. I’m sure with the enthusiasm of Gael and Cat at the helm this new venture will be a resounding success.”