* New local caterers to manage historic location’s cafe
* A series of cafe-led events to be launched including a bank holiday hog roast – starting at British Warriors Through Time Event (August 30/31)
* Visitor numbers continue to rise at popular Bury St Edmunds location
* New regular coffee mornings won’t ‘Costa’ fortune
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park near Bury St Edmunds has teamed up with a new catering and events company to run its popular cafe.
Suffolk-based Churchill Catering has taken over the lease to manage the on-site dining and relaxation spot, which already has a new look, Costa Coffee, a new range of homemade foods and a series of fun events planned.
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village Cafe, will offer a full range of traditional foods, including everything from fresh baguettes, sandwiches and panini, to daily hot meals and healthy food options, including gluten free-cakes.
Churchill’s, a family-run business based in Ingham, has over 20 years’ experience working in the catering and event management business, including the heritage sector, and took over the cafe site this month.
Now with clients across the country including the Richard III visitor centre in Leicester and the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park in Sutton Cheney, the company also prides itself on using 70% of suppliers from within a 20 mile radius of each of the sites it manages.
Cllr Joanna Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, said: “With so many successful events at West Stow this year, and many more planned, we decided it was time for a new look and feel for the cafe and are delighted to have Churchill Catering on board.
“It is a local Fair Trade company, with years of managing catering operations for many different clients, including heritage centres, and I am looking forward to seeing how the cafe develops, which will be in keeping with the Anglo-Saxon Village and country park.
“The cafe is also dog friendly meaning dog owners can take a break with their pet after walking in the park.”
Churchill Catering was founded 21-years ago by Tony Nicholl, from Bury St Edmunds.
The company’s first site was at Palmer and Harvey in Brandon: since then, it has gone on to provide catering services nationwide for industry, business and public sector clients, shopping centres, sites of leisure, sport, and historic interest. It also owns and manages several high street delis and cafes.
The company also provides catering services for Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, High Lodge in Thetford Forest, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Harwich International Port.
Plans for West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village Cafe include new food options along with cafe-led events such as bank holiday hog roasts, the first on August 30 & 31 for the British Warriors Through Time event, children-eat-free-days, parties, and regular coffee mornings, when no cup of coffee will cost more that £1.50.
West Stow, which recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Anglo-Saxon village reconstruction, has recently seen a successful run of events including new style celebrations such as the Big Brecks Fest and Dragon Festival.
Apart from regular visitors from the local area and beyond, these events combined have attracted nearly 5,000 people to the heritage site. Some 13,400 school children have also visited this year for educational trips.
Said Managing Director, Tony Nicholl: “As the only reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon village in the country – The First English Village – West Stow and its surrounding country park, a site of special scientific interest, is both unique and very special.
“When the opportunity arose to take on the lease, we grabbed it with both hands as we felt our style of catering and enterprise aligned perfectly with what was required. Equally, since taking on the cafe, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, continue to be very dynamic, helpful and supportive and we are excited about what we can achieve together.
“We are truly passionate and enthusiastic about our business and we hope our endeavours at West Stow will help further cement this historic location’s reputation as one of the best, and most prized, visitor destinations in the country.”