Villagers looking for new owner for beloved shop and cafe

Juniper Barn, Rendham

The village shop and cafe has become important to local visitors. Pictures from before the pandemic - Credit: Juniper Barn

Villagers in east Suffolk are hoping that someone can be found to take over their beloved shop and café after its current owners announced they would be moving on.  

Juniper Barn in Rendham has gone up for sale after owners Geoffrey and Katie Boult put it on the market.  

The couple started the business, which includes a café, shop and bed and breakfast, five years ago.

"This was a retirement project," said Mrs Boult. 

"My husband was a teacher, we wanted to do something completely different so we bought a house with a derelict barn."

 In the past five years, the business has continued to prove popular with villagers. 

"It's just taken off. People seem to like what we do," said Mrs Boult. 

Katie and Geoffrey Boult when they opened Juniper Barn 

Katie and Geoffrey Boult when they opened Juniper Barn - Credit: Juniper Barn

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During the pandemic the shop helped provide essentials to those living in and around the village including fresh vegetables and homemade snacks, doing deliveries with the help of local volunteers and keeping a watchful eye on residents. 

Mrs Boult said it had been particularly good to have people coming back to the café in recent weeks.  

"They are just so excited to be back," said Mrs Boult. "They are very happy just sitting outside."

Villagers are hopeful that someone can now be found to take over the site and ensure a shop remains in Rendham.  

Jo Rogers, a long-time local resident of the village said: “Juniper Barn has become a really friendly hub where people can meet and keep in contact and it has been invaluable during this difficult year with all other local events cancelled.  

"We hope that some new owners can be found who will be inspired to take it on in the same spirit and continue the success that so many of us appreciate and benefit from." 

The building is up for sale for £770,000 and is being sold through estate agents, Fennel. 

The sale includes the couple’s four-bedroom house, as well as the shop, café and the bed and breakfast which is run out of a converted barn.  

The couple will be staying local but hope that someone will be interested in the business and willing to take it on as they did. 

"We would love it for someone to take it on with a similar vision," said Mrs Boult. 

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