Owners of The British Larder at Bromeswell sell-up to focus on website business

Madalene Bonvini-Hamel and Ross Pike outside The British Larder.

Madalene Bonvini-Hamel and Ross Pike outside The British Larder. - Credit: Archant

The co-founders of an award-winning Suffolk gastropub have agreed the sale of the business – despite it having just notched up its most successful year yet.

Madalene Bonvini-Hamel and Ross Pike, who launched The British Larder at what was previously the Cherry Tree pub in Bromeswell, near Woodbridge, in 2010, have now decided to focus on running www.britishlarder.co.uk, their popular recipe website.

They aim to take advantage of opportunities in areas ranging from retail, consultancy and food safaris to food publishing, photography and journalism.

“The choice had to be made between running the pub and developing the other aspects of our business,” said Madalene. “Ross and I were working 90 hours a week in the gastropub and, as a result, we weren’t able to give the other opportunities the attention they deserved.

“It was a very difficult decision to let go of our thriving pub and the relationships we have built with our customers and local suppliers – we have a great fan base and have won a raft of awards recently – but it is the other areas of our business that have got us really excited.

“We’re not ruling out doing something similar again but at the moment we know where we want to take the British Larder”, added Madalene.

The restaurant is now closed ahead of completion of the sale later this month.

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The new owner is retired lawyer Brendan Padfield who plans to reopen under a new identity in mid-March, following the installation of some new kitchen equipment.

Mr Padfield said: “My aim is to build on the fantastic food reputation the place has but with a more accessible offer, with an emphasis on grilled meats and a slight Italian influence to the menu.

“I am retired but I have always had a huge passion for food and wine, and this is something I have always wanted to do.”

The restaurant’s staff will transfer to the new ownership under employment protection laws.