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Food: Coffee & Company at Mildenhall's Barleycorn


By Alice Ryan


Barleycorn in Mildenhall is fast becoming famous for its fresh, flavourful food. But, as founder Shelby Foord tells Velvet, it’s so much more than a deli and cafe

Tell us a bit about you. . .

I used to holiday in Suffolk as a child, as my grandparents moved to Beccles when I was small. I’m originally from London, worked in publishing and, after moving up here three years ago, wanted to work more in the community I loved living in. I am interested in wellness, therapies and healthy eating so that’s what I want to bring to people with Barleycorn Mildenhall.

How did Barleycorn begin?

I returned home from a yoga retreat in Goa with a desire to change my career. I am passionate about food and cooking and also the community in which I live. Mildenhall has a lot of fast food restaurants and I saw the gap for a more healthy option, catering for the ever-growing vegan market and gluten-free too, but also to have a place where people feel comfortable to pop in and have a chat over a cuppa. We also spread the love at localfarmers markets, taking our brand out on the road.

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What’s on the menu?

We use local ingredients where possible, both to minimise the carbon footprint and get things as fresh as possible. We love it when people pop their head in and tell us they are off to their allotment to dig up some beetroot would we like some? It’s picked and in the chiller in hours - so fresh! We cater for everyone with lots of vegan and gluten-free options, and colour is important in all our food.

Bestsellers include our quiches and salads in summer and soups in winter. In terms of cakes, it has to be the bread pudding or lemon cake. Also our afternoon teas get booked up for birthdays, baby showers, children’s parties. . . We serve traditional treats on our vintage china.

What makes Barleycorn so much more than a deli/cafe?

I like to think it’s a place which makes everyone welcome. We started Meet up Mondays just over a year ago and have one of the most successful groups in the area with about 20 regular attendees. We also have yoga classes, meditation and mindfulness classes, tai chi, workshops for women, a post-partum pastry hour monthly with our friends at Mildenhall Air Base, breastfeeding support groups and so much more. There are also cookery classes for children in the school holidays and cooking and baking workshops throughout the year.

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Christmas is coming. . . What are your plans?

We will be holding cheese tasting evenings in November and December, sampling East Anglian cheeses and showing how to put together a seasonal cheeseboard, and Christmas tasting evenings in December, sampling pickles, chutneys, crackers, puds and other seasonal treats to create your own hamper of goodies.

It’s a family affair, isn’t it?

Absolutely! The whole family’s involved: husband Rob, sons Sonny and Archie, daughters Ruby and Maysie. Each has a role to play. It’s a real team effort.

Barleycorn is at 30 Market Place, Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds IP28 7EF. See facebook.com/barleycornmildenhall/ for more.



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