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Tina's Country Kitchen set to open as farm shop in Lakenheath

A couple whose business outgrew their home during lockdown are opening a village farm shop.

Tina and Craig Mullins live in Feltwell but seized their chance to take over the former Matthew’s Nursery site building in Lakenheath - where they plan to open this month under the name Tina’s Country Kitchen.

The pair have won plaudits for their takeaway afternoon teas, dressings and cake making - especially Tina’s signature ‘Norfolk Viennese tart’. Now they plan to combine the cakes and condiments with the quiches made by Craig, who is a chef currently on furlough. There will also be fruits and vegetables from local farmers and fresh bread.

Tina Mullins with her husband Craig. Picture by Mark Westley.
Tina Mullins with her husband Craig. Picture by Mark Westley.

“We acted against the flow,” Tina said. “We have run everything from home and I could not find any premises. But as luck would have it, a customer for our afternoon tea recommended a chap who had loads of commercial property. We have restored the site back to life.

“You might not think it is the best time to open a shop. When we decided to go for it in November we did not think we would now be in lockdown. I thought things might be better.

“But that has happened now and we are allowed to open so we will be giving it a go.”

The farm shop will open on March 3. Picture by Mark Westley.
The farm shop will open on March 3. Picture by Mark Westley.

The site in High Street, Lakenheath, is just 12 miles from their home. Tina has previously worked around Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as Hertfordshire. She had run a craft and gift shop that sold cakes, and after winning compliments for her baking, she moved further down this direction.

This led her to lead culinary workshops and eventually open the farm shop, which has gained them customers around West Suffolk.

She said: “We are making a lot of what we sell. We are supporting local businesses big time by using them whenever we can.”

In the future, she hopes to add a pet food line but has no plans to leave the customer favourite lemon drizzle off the options list. The quality of the cakes, and also the afternoon teas - which sees customers take away bags of leaves to brew as well as scones and sandwiches, has won the business five star Facebook and Google reviews. Tina is planning to open Tuesdays to Saturdays with the view to expanding the opening times and taking on more staff.

She said that the number of customers in the shop will be limited, and strict hygiene and PPE measures will be taken to ensure safety.

The shop will open on Wednesday, March 3.

For more information, visit: facebook.com and search ‘Tina’s Country Kitchen’.

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