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Special brew: tea is up in Stonehouse


An afternoon tea business has moved into the kitchen at the former café at Bond’s Mill, Stonehouse, owned by Robert Hitchins Ltd.

Le Tartistry’s orders have soared since caterer Karen Ley-Greaves started the business at her kitchen table in Stroud in 2016 with the help of her daughter-in-law Kerry Thorne.

The dynamic duo moved into their first commercial kitchen in 2018, catering for events such as weddings, funerals and hen parties, and ran cake stalls at farmers’ markets.

When Covid struck and all events were cancelled, they launched a doorstep delivery service and haven’t stood still since.

“We advertised through Facebook and within a week, we were so busy we didn’t know which way to turn,” said Karen, who cut her catering teeth at Claridges and Park Lane Hotel in London. 

Their recent move to Bond’s Mill has enabled Le Tartistry to expand and has also brought extra custom. “We’ve done buffet lunches for other tenants on the estate and will be providing cakes for staff in the old café area,” she added.

“We were reassured that we had made the right decision because of the professional and supportive estates team. The additional wellbeing facilities on site for businesses were an added bonus.”

Robert Hitchins’ Helen Hawke welcomed Le Tartistry to the Bond’s Mill estate which sits alongside the Stroudwater Canal and River Frome in a mix of refurbished Victorian mill buildings and modern commercial premises.

“Karen’s business is the perfect new use for what was previously a café kitchen.  The smell of home baking from Le Tartistry’s Kitchen is irrestible,” she said.

Bond’s Mill is on the A419 near Stroud. It offers on-site management with 40 tenants in premises ranging from 100 to 15,000 sq ft and accommodates many start-ups as well as established companies such as UK Power Solutions, Staffline – Omega Resource and RSK Biocensus.

The agent was John Hawkins, of Hawkins Watton Stroud.

Robert Hitchins, based at Boddington in Gloucestershire, is one of the leading property developers and investors in the South West and South Wales. It provides the full development process from site acquisition and planning through to development and investment.

For details of properties to buy or let, www.robert-hitchins.co.uk and www.bondsmill.co.uk

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