In May, we launched our seventh My Country Business Awards in association with Not On The High Street, a leading supporter of small businesses. Meet the amazing people who won…
Category: Hospitality and Leisure
Kris Blackburn, The Running Fox Artisan Bakery & Café
Kris Blackburn lives with her partner and their Labrador Red, Golden Retriever Ollie and cat Lupin in a Georgian cottage beside the River Coquet in Felton, Northumberland. She has transformed a newsagent’s close to her home into an artisan bakery and café. Her background is in catering – she opened a coffee shop when she was only 20, followed by a deli, then spent time doing private catering before becoming a consultant.
Five years ago, she was offered the newsgent’s-cum-coffee shop. ‘I said if I took it on, I needed something else, like a bakery, to go with it. The first day we opened in April 2011 there was a queue of people up the street – it was like the film Chocolat!’
The ethos of the business is serving good-quality, wholesome, homemade food, including artisan bread, cakes and pieces, and everything is locally sourced. ‘Everything is fresh and made by us,’ says Kris. Afternoon teas have become a firm favourite too. The Running Fox is now one of the mainstays of village life. ‘We’ve had amazing support from the village – everyone comes in for a chat; it’s a massive community thing. Originally I opened it for the village but our reputation has spread.’ A second coffee shop has recently opened in nearby Longframlington.
‘It’s been a whirlwind five years but I have an amazing team – they work so hard. I felt complete disbelief when I heard we’d won. To win a national award for this little coffee shop is quite something for us.’
What the judges said…
It is fantastic to see how this business has grown to become the heart of the local community – something is is increasingly rare nowadays with so many established high-street chains taking over.
Lucy Lomas, Business Director, River Cottage HQ