TV's Escape to the Country couple bringing café to train station
PUBLISHED: 09:30 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:46 27 January 2020
You can now get artisan coffee, homebaked brownies and fresh pastries every weekday from Brownie and the Bean.
Moving to Suffolk has been a bit of a whirlwind for Charlotte and Luke Giddings and their young children.
Charlotte (who worked in London setting up social enterprises for one of the world's largest charities) and Luke (former manager of The Fine Cheese Company's Belgravia restaurant) found their dream home in the region after appearing on TV's Escape to the Country. But five days before moving in, found out it was riddled with problems and fell through - giving them just a week to find a new place to live.
The stars aligned, and they ended up in Redgrave where they began to realise their vision for Brownie and the Bean, opening the mobile brownie, coffee and cocktail bar just six months ago.
And today, in collaboration with Greater Anglia, they've brought the cutesy converted rice van Beryl to her new home at Bury St Edmunds train station, where travellers and commuters will find her every morning for treats from Monday to Friday.
"We have just come off the back of six months since we launched," says Charlotte, "and we've done an awful lot in Bury St Edmunds and created a good following, so we're excited to continue with that customer base, and to having something a bit more regular to offer. We've had a lot of messages while we've been beavering in the background and I know there are people who can't wait to get their brownies and coffees from us again. We're so excited to grow with the station as well."
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Brownie and the Bean will be the only food and drink outlet at the station, with the café having closed last August.
The husband and wife team are sourcing as locally as possible for many of the products you'll find at their van from 6am to 10am in the mornings. Butterworth's Artisan blend coffee and tea blends will give you a wake-up call. There's luxurious hot chocolate from Willie's, with all milk sourced from Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses' Jersey herd near Ipswich. And, with plans afoot to bring more options (maybe even savoury) according to customer response, you'll also find plenty of treats to satisfy that sweet tooth.
"We have pastries from Stir in Cambridgeshire. We also have our great selection of brownies, all baked by Luke. There's our billionaire's shortbread Bury brownie which we've got especially for Bury St Edmunds, and triple chocolate, salted caramel and blondies. We make seasonal ones too."
If a trip to Bury St Edmunds isn't on the radar, look out for Brownie and the Bean at various events throughout the year including festivals, and at Ipswich Farmers' Market on Cornhill from springtime.
"When we were on Escape to the Country they showed us making cocktails in the rum shack in our garden and talking about wanting to have a food and drink business. The fact we've been able to do that, to live our dream, is amazing," Charlotte adds.