I have always had a love of cooking and on reaching a certain age I decided I would make some life changing decisions. As a consequence baRnby’s was born when I decided to open a pop up cafe in the back of The Memorial Hall in Blyth, selling coffee and cake on a Saturday morning.
“How hard can it be?” I cannot believe that I actually said those words because five years after I opened on 18 February 2017 I know exactly how hard it can be and if I ever write my life story, well the title is right there.
I no longer have a presence in The Memorial Hall and I now cook at home. I use the best ingredients I can source and put a lot of time, effort and a sprinkling of “faff” so you don’t have to, to create mouthwatering and colourful food which is beautifully presented in ECO friendly containers and delivered to homes and businesses in Bassetlaw and beyond.
I specialise in Posh Picnics, 5 course Bistro Meals and also cater for parties and events. However I am probably best known for my sausage rolls and vegetable slices, which are made by hand, from scratch using local produce. Going forward I shall be concentrating my efforts on these and my aim is to have a sausage roll workshop and production line.
Whilst they will still be available for delivery and collection for local customers they will be available on my on line shop and can be delivered throughout the UK. They will also be available on a wholesale basis for local businesses who would like to include them as part of their repertoire.
What 3 words best describe you?
Passionate. Quirky, Brave.
What 3 words best describe your business?
From my heart.
What are your top 3 tips for running a successful business in Bassetlaw?
Get good advice from the start. I was a complete novice initially and had excellent help and support from the small business advisor at Bassetlaw District Council who helped set me on my way.
Get to know like minded people who have your back. Being in business can be quite a lonely path at times and my membership of my Networking group gives me so much more than networking.
I am not afraid to ask other members if I need any help and advice and their support, which comes in many guises, has been invaluable to me. Do something you love doing and are passionate about and have belief in yourself.
Who has inspired you the most and what is the best advice you have been given?
My family are my inspiration. Too many examples to explain the reason why however going forward my aim is to build a sustainable business that makes my daughter and granddaughters proud of me.
The best advice I gave myself at the start was “be true to yourself and stick to your guns” and I have maintained that philosophy as I have built my business. Having said that I have also realised how important it is to adapt when the need arises and continue to look for ways to improve and grow.
What makes Bassetlaw a good place to live, and to have a business in?
We are surrounded by fabulous countryside and have many great places to visit on our doorstep. I also love that if we want to dip a toe outside of the area we don’t have to travel far to find spectacular scenery and good walking country.
What skill would you like to perfect?
Without a doubt my IT skills.
If you weren’t catering what would you be doing instead?
Tricky one. If I had been brave enough to take this leap of faith 20 years ago I now would have a restaurant or pub that specialised in top quality local food.
If I had followed my heart when I left school I would have studied languages and travelled a lot more at a younger age so who knows where that would have led me too.
I wouldn’t lead my life any differently if I had it over again so I am very happy to be doing what I am doing now.
What place, business or event in Bassetlaw would you bring back if you could?
Without a shadow I would bring back all the fabulous independent shops I can remember in Worksop when I was growing up. Perham Cox, Herbert Smiths, Scotts Bakery to name but a few and the market was a place of absolute joy.
Name an unsung hero of Bassetlaw?
My paternal grandma, Helena Dennis.She was a great baker and some of my earliest memories are of her showing me how to make cakes, and she was a Parish Councillor and instrumental in setting up the first family planning clinic in Worksop.
What is your favourite place to eat in the area and why?
There is nothing I more than sitting in to eat Fish and Chips at Dawsons on Gateford Road. Proper fish and chips with a cheeky glass of rosé. Always a warm welcome and a bit of a chit chat and my dad used to love going with my mum and I when he was alive. Happy memories.