Food companies thank staff, suppliers and customers

Support from customers and suppliers and staff that are passionate about their roles are vital if a business is to succeed. And this is something the past winners of the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards know more than most.

For Dean Foster and Louise Tyrrell who run Baileys2 in Bury St Edmunds, customers are king.

Their coffee shop scooped the coffee shop of the year award in the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards last year – an accolade which Dean says is testament to their customers’ support.

“You can’t ask your customers to come in – you just have to hope they do. Our customer base is amazing and we’re really lucky to have their support,” he says.

In fact, it was Dean and Louise’s regular customers that nominated the coffee shop for the 2011 EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards.

Last year’s judges praised the coffee shop for its extensive choices and great value for money, adding that the helpful staff have gained a strong reputation for their warm welcome.

Dean and Louise set up Baileys2 three years ago.

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After gaining experience at various establishments across the UK including the Lanesborough in London and the Ickworth Hotel in Suffolk, Louise and Dean decided they wanted the challenge of running their own business.

“We bought a business during the worst economic crisis the world has seen but it’s working out. All the hard work we’re putting in is paying off,” Dean says.

“We love it to bits.”

They support local producers and suppliers whenever possible.

Coffee comes from a Halesworth-based business and many of the ingredients used in their dishes are locally-sourced too.

Sausages, for example, come from just down the road and Dean relishes the fact that provenance features strongly on the menu.

“I can tell them [the customers] exactly what’s in that meat and I can be confident with what I’m selling,” he explains.

“We try to build a relationship with our suppliers as well as our customers too.”

n For more details about the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2012 or to nominate a business visit