30 Apr The Linton Kitchen
Put it simply…Gemma loves food -I am very fortunate meeting a lot of local passionate foodies on my food tours. They are either foodies joining me on one of my tours and keen to discover Foodie Cambridge or local entrepreneurs running interesting shops or restaurants. As with everything in life, we would be nothing without a helping hand. Gemma Whiting was one of them, assisting Polly from Urban Larder during the weekends.
After a decade of working in the hospitality industry both nationally and internationally, Gemma was bursting to create a shop that offered others some of the fabulous local food and drink that is on offer. It wasn’t a spot in Cambridge, which stole her heart, but one in Linton. She fell in love with one of the former butcher shops in the high street, just down the road from the pub she used to work. Anybody who would have known the shop previously, wouldn’t recognise it now. The Linton Kitchen is a lovely bright café and deli, where it looks as if the ‘sun’ always shines…. Did Gemma bring the sun back from OZ maybe? Well, definitely the looks.
The other day I had to go to Helions Bumpstead, the village where I used to live prior to moving to Cambridge. This part of Cambridgeshire is often seen as a sleepy part of the county. Small villages where not a lot seems to happen, but how perception sometimes can be wrong as we now can see in Linton. Eleven years ago, when I moved from Cape Town to Ashdon, there weren’t a lot of shops left in Linton. Dare I say it, the Coop was the highlight of a shopping spree those days. It wasn’t too long after, that the Linton Farmers Market came on the scene, followed by more in the area. One of them was Helions Bumpstead under my supervision. At the moment, Linton seems to be bubbling with the opening of Jigsaw Bakery and now the Linton Kitchen. So being in this neck of the woods, I had to check out these great foodie additions to Linton.
Unfortunately, I ran out of time so it was only The Linton Kitchen going to be this time. Gemma has done a great job. She gave the place a nice bright look and has left a big impression with the visitors already having used a nice grey paint from Farrow & Ball – ‘ I can start an interior design business soon’ were her words.
I thought by 3 pm business would have slowed down, but nothing like that! People were coming and going. I had a coffee so I could soak up the atmosphere. It was lovely. Fathers with children popping in and treating them on sweets, biscuits and homemade milkshake served in quirky milk bottles. Or did I see ‘the big child’ having one too? One of the female visitors had ‘popped’ over from Streetly End. ‘ I had heard about you and wanted to check it out. Bad move, you set up shop here’ she laughed. Indeed a very bright move with so many yummy mummies coming back from a school run either from Linton or Cambridge. It’s muffin galore in The Linton Kitchen according to Adilia from Norfolk Street Bakery. Gemma had picked up 48 muffins for the weekend from her bakery on Thursday morning and by 4 pm she had none left. It should have lasted until Monday! It’s quite clear, that not only Gemma is working over time, but her suppliers too.
One of the great things of shops like these is, that they source their products from local producers or shops. Cooperation of locals is one of the key success factors of being successful these days I think.
My original plan was to arrive at Gemma for lunch. I wish had been better organised that day as the food on the board looked delicious. My type of food. Just like me, Gemma spends quite a few years in the Southern Hemispheres. The food is often much lighter in this part of the world and they don’t always serve bread with their lunch.
What can you expect
Daily varying homemade sandwiches with bread from Jigsaw Bakery and a selection of 2 daily specials as on the board above. This might change as her ham sandwich has already become ‘a must have’ amongst her customers.
What is the scene like?
A hub for the community, a place to meet, a place to enjoy and a place to discover and buy amazing produce.
Tuesday to Saturday from 8-6 pm
Sunday’s 10 – 3 pm