Farm shop, café and yoga studio to bring wellness centre to East Bergholt
- Credit: Liam Winters Photography/ Fields Farm Shop & Café
A new farm shop and café serving high-quality British produce is set to open on the outskirts of East Bergholt, with a fully-furnished yoga studio also launching next door.
The two businesses will create a 'wellness centre' on land at Grassroots and Wellyboots Farm in Park Road, East End, after plans submitted to Babergh District Council were granted permission in October.
One of the units will be let to the Same Star Yoga team, co-founded by Samantha Layzell and Faye Riches, who will be relocating their Dedham-based yoga studio to the new space.
The yoga studio launched in 2018 and was "bursting at the seams" with classes before Covid hit.
Mrs Layzell said they needed to expand, hence the reason for taking on the new unit in East Bergholt, which she described as being a "beautiful setting".
Miss Riches, who has been teaching yoga for more than 15 years, said the East Bergholt wellness centre suited their needs and worked as a destination, allowing users of the studio to eat and drink after class, or visit the farm shop.
They will bring weekly classes, workshops, yoga retreats, teacher training courses, holistic therapies and community events to the exciting project.
Fields Farm Shop & Café will open next door and will be run by partners Abby Clayton and Andrew Mackenzie, who have worked in the hospitality industry since leaving school.
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Mr Mackenzie, aged 42, has spent many years working as a chef, while Ms Clayton has also worked in the food and events industry as a wedding planner.
The pair, who currently live in Upminster in East London but have their hearts set on relocating to the Essex-Suffolk border, said this is their "dream" project.
Ms Clayton said: "This is our first project together and it is our dream place, so we are really excited to put our own stamp on it.
"Our main goal is that the food is high quality British-based products which are as locally sourced as possible, with the smallest carbon footprint.
"Andrew is still creating the menu, but we will offer great breakfasts, Sunday roasts and also healthy food options to coincide with the yoga studio next door, such as whole food bowls and lighter options."
Ms Clayton said they had been searching for a spot to launch their dream project for a while, and have worked with the landowner Jenna Ackerley, director of Events Under Canvas, to bring their vision to life.
The shop and café, which will open seven days a week and can seat 60 people inside with 40 outside, will incorporate a rustic style throughout.
There will also be a couple of rooms to rent for local businesses at the site, with Mrs Ackerley focussed on making use of the land while introducing a "community asset".
"We wanted the plans to be respectful of the village and make good use of the land, so we are creating a business and wellbeing centre," she said.
"Currently people have to travel to Hall Farm in Dedham or Suffolk Food Hall to find a farm shop, and with the yoga studio next door it will have a real focus on wellness."
The build is set to begin in April, with the keys handed over to the tenants in September.
Sufficient parking will be available onsite, but the centre will also appeal to walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Same Star Yoga studio will have its soft-opening in November, running special events through the winter, and plans to officially open its doors in February next year.
The farm shop and café hopes to hire around 10 to 12 members of staff and looks set to open by Autumn.