We are excited to introduce the lovely Annabel who runs The Hen House and wonderful Egg Shed, near us in Norfolk! Thank you so much for joining us Annabel...
Please tell us a bit about The Hen House and The Egg Shed?
The Hen House is my Farm Cafe & Gift Shop. Enjoy great coffee and homemade cake in a shed on a working farm.The Egg Shed is our self service Egg Vending Shed where you can buy our fresh free range eggs straight from our farm.
Sounds just up our street. Where did the idea come from to start the cafe and shop? How long have you had the farm or has it always been in your family?
My family have been at Cavick House Farm since 1973 and there are still three generations of our family on the farm.
We started selling free range eggs from The Egg Shed 7 years ago. After a lot of interest I opened The Tea Shed, a self service honesty tea & cake Shed where you could make yourself a cuppa and enjoy with a piece of homemade cake. This really took off so after a year I decided to quit my job at an art gallery and opened up The Hen House.
I took a lot of inspiration from cafes and pop-up food businesses in North Norfolk & Cornwall and chose little painted sheds as seating areas.
Had you always dreamt of opening your own shop and cafe?
I definitely hadn't dreamt of owning a cafe or making coffee for a living as I originally trained as a fine artist, but I always like the idea of running my own business. The didn't anticipate how much people love coffee and cake!
The Egg Shed has its very own vending machine...you must be the first person to ever do that in Norfolk! It is such an amazing idea...is it going well?
Yes we have an egg vending machine and it's a first for Norfolk. They are specially made in Germany and supplied by a farmer in Scotland. It's proving incredibly popular. We were lucky to have the press pick up the story which made it to The Times and we got a mention on radio 2!
Wow that's amazing! What sort of products do you stock in your lovely shop- The Hen house?
As well as great coffee, homemade scones, cakes & biscuits I stock design led bits for your home as well as scented candles, artisan chocolate, enamelware, edible petals, cards & wrapping paper and of course IzziRainey cushions!
As you know all of our products are designed by Izzi and manufactured in the UK, is this something you feel passionate about? Do you stock a lot of other British designer makers?
I definitely feel strongly about sourcing and using local producers & designers where possible. As a farmers daughter I understand how important it is support local and U.K. Industry. As well as Izzy Rainey I stock stoneware from a potter in Bristol, postcards and prints by Amelia Bowman who's based in Wymondham, Chocolate Deli chocolate made in Wells-next-the-sea, Art Angels cards and warp printed in Norwich and The Printed Peanut soaps and shopping bags made in Yorkshire.
It is great that you stock lots of local designers. You have lots of wonderful products in store, where do you tend to source your products from?
I source stock from all over. Sometimes on recommendations, magazines, Instagram and trade fairs if I can find the time to go to one. I was a buyer for a gallery shop so luckily I had a little book of suppliers and designers.
What first drew your attention to IzziRainey products?
That was based on a recommendation from a good customer. I loved the designs and use of colour but I also liked the fact that she is a local farmers daughter too!
Thank you so much to Annabel. Please make sure you pop by and visit Cavick Farm if you ever get the chance...even it is just to see their fantastic egg vending machine. http://annabelseggshed.co.uk/the-hen-house
We are a textile company, based on a farm in Norfolk, designing and manufacturing high quality homeware and interior products within Norfolk and the UK.