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Couple launch new Suffolk bakery

PUBLISHED: 13:09 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:19 11 August 2020

Zoe and Tristan Hasler ran The Barn Cafe at Alder Carr Farm for five years. Now they are running a bakery from the site supplying the farm shop and with collection available every week  Picture: Harry Engles

Zoe and Tristan Hasler ran The Barn Cafe at Alder Carr Farm for five years. Now they are running a bakery from the site supplying the farm shop and with collection available every week Picture: Harry Engles

Archant

The business, based at a popular farm shop in mid-Suffolk, sells everything from lemon meringue cruffins to moreish chocolate brownies.

A raspberry and creme patissiere filled 'cruffin' from the Little Pig Bakery at Alder Carr Farm  Picture: Harry EnglesA raspberry and creme patissiere filled 'cruffin' from the Little Pig Bakery at Alder Carr Farm Picture: Harry Engles

They say necessity is the mother of all in invention – and so has been the case for numerous food and drink businesses this year.

Amongst them The Barn Café at Alder Carr Farm in Needham Market. A successful enterprise for Zoe and Tristan Hasler for five years, the café was so popular pre-lockdown it was often impossible to book a table.

When Covid-19 hit, the couple made the “heartbreaking” decision to close. But, never ones to rest on their laurels, they’ve recently launched the Little Pig Bakery on site at the farm.

While they don’t have a bakery counter just yet, Zoe and Tristan are stocking the deli area and shelves of the farm shop with all the customer favourites they’ve become known for over the past few years, as well as offering twice weekly collections from the bakery door in the Alder Carr courtyard.

Cakes, pastries and bread from the Little Pig Bakery at Alder Carr Farm  Picture; Harry EnglesCakes, pastries and bread from the Little Pig Bakery at Alder Carr Farm Picture; Harry Engles

Talking about the decision to start up a bakery, Zoe says: “It came about because my husband absolutely loves sweet things. He’s been a chef for over 15 years and the pastry and cake side of the job have always been his passion. And I was a classic home baker and loved it. He’s taught me loads. This just seemed the right time.”

Customers visiting the farm can buy Tristan’s Scotch eggs (made with Blythburgh or Dingley Dell pork and free-range eggs) and quiches from the deli counter – from the classic Lorraine, to caramelised onion, cheddar and spinach. And 10 to 12 different cakes, pastries, traybakes and sweet treats can be discovered too.

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“It changes all the time,” says Zoe. “We’re known for our classic brownies, flapjacks, tiffin, blondies and cheese straws. And there are some things we’re only selling online to collect like my husband’s cruffins [croissant muffin hybrids] and savoury pastries filled with leek, smoked cheddar and bacon – a bit like a pain aux raisins.

Customised, bespoke celebration cakes can be ordered too.

“Between the shop and online everything’s selling really well and we’ve had a great response,” Zoe says, revealing her favourite nibble is the cruffins. “They are delicious. We do a morning cruffin with cinnamon and crème patissiere, another one which I love with lemon curd and Swiss meringue on top (it’s so tasty), and a raspberry and crème patissiere one.”

Visit the shop to see what’s available, or place your order via the online shop with collection available from 10am to 12noon on Wednesday and Saturdays. “We can take orders through our Facebook page too,” Zoe adds.


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