Christmas dinner in July? Not a problem at The Bay Tree in Bury St Edmunds

Nicky and Mark Richmond of The Bay Tree on St Johns Street''Pictured: Poppy Poultney, Linda Barnard, Rebecca Frost, Nicky and Mark Richmond

Nicky and Mark Richmond of The Bay Tree on St Johns Street''Pictured: Poppy Poultney, Linda Barnard, Rebecca Frost, Nicky and Mark Richmond

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The Bay Tree proved they are willing to cater for their customers needs when they hosted a Chrismas party – two week ago.

“We did pigs in blankets and a traditional Christmas day dinner,” said Mark Richmond who runs The St Johns Street cafe and bistro with his wife Nicky.

Nicky and Mark Richmond of The Bay Tree on St Johns Street  Pictured: Poppy Poultney, Nicky and Mark Richmond, Rebecca Frost and Linda Barnard

Nicky and Mark Richmond of The Bay Tree on St Johns Street Pictured: Poppy Poultney, Nicky and Mark Richmond, Rebecca Frost and Linda Barnard

“Aparently it was a small business and they couldn’t get everybody together before Christmas so the boss said he would organise something in the New Year – and they never got round to it – until July.”

The Bay Tree has been in St Johns Street since 2000 but was taken over by Mark and Nicky in November 2010.

Mark had previously worked in kitchens at Duxford Lodge and Cambridge University Riverside Restaurant, while Nicky was a PA at the university.

They decided to wanted to run their own business and jumped at the opportunity when The Bay Tree became available.

Nicky and Mark Richmond of The Bay Tree on St Johns Street

Nicky and Mark Richmond of The Bay Tree on St Johns Street

“I’d actually eaten here before but I’d never thought I’d end up buying it,” Nicky said.

Since then they have tried to gradually evolve the business, redecorating, buying new furniture and expanding the menu range,

The Bay Tree now runs a cafe menu which changes from Summer to Winter, a range of cakes made by kitchen assistant Linda Barnard, which changes on a weekly basis while keeping a core set of favourites, and a bistro menu, updated every two to four weeks.

Although not offering an exclusively gluten free or vegetarian menu, the couple have tried to increase the number of dishes available on its menu for people with these dietry requirements.

Mark said he has noticed a significant increase this year in the number of people chosing vegetarian dishes, which he attributes to the fallout of the horse meat scandal earlier this year.

“People are getting more conscious about what they eat,” he said.

Nicky said: “We also recently teamed up with Gymphobics to offer some low calorie options.”

They couple are active members in organising events in St Johns Street such as the annual street fayre.

“I have always said work shouldn’t be this much fun
“It can also be devastating at times – but it is rewarding when something comes out that looks good and tastes good, and then somebody comes up to compliment it,” said Mark.

The duo are proud of their large selection of salads.

It is open Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 4.30pm, Friday 9.30 to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 7pm and Sunday 11.30pm to 3pm.

It takes private bookings and is hoping to welcome back Paul Richards and his one man plays fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in September.

Visit www.thebaytreebury.co.uk or email the baytreebury@gmail.com