A popular farm shop and cafe is under new ownership, who have already invested in the business.

Spring House Farm Shop, between Bedale and Northallerton, has been bought by a local couple, who have retained the existing team - and revealed their plans for the future.

Mark and Karen Gatenby have taken over the business, previously run by Judith Carling and Neil Hellawell, with the objective of continuing to grow its reputation for producing tasty homemade food as well as a shop stocked with locally sourced food and drink.

The Northern Echo: Spring House Farm Shop staff, rom left, Karen Gatenby, Hayley Johnson, Holly Murdoch, Mark Gatenby

The couple have retained the existing team and already invested in new equipment, new windows, a brand refresh and have moved to being open seven days a week – with record numbers of covers served.

Mr Gatenby said: “I was looking for the next chapter in my career and this opportunity presented itself.

"The business really appealed, and I could see so much untapped potential, so I took it on.

“I want to continue to develop the café whilst also improving the shop to increase footfall.

"We are now open seven days per week, having identified that in the local area, most café-style businesses seem to be closed on a Monday. Since opening on a Monday, the business has grown week on week as more and more people discover that we are open.”

In addition to a range of homemade meals, cakes and treats, and a very popular Sunday lunch - all available to eat in or takeaway - the café offers ‘ready to cook at home’ meals including cottage pie, lasagne and mince and dumplings, full-size cakes and desserts made to order.

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The new owners are in the process of applying for an alcohol license to sell alcohol in both the shop and café and also have plans to install a butchery/deli section that will sell locally sourced meats and cheeses amongst other things.

Mr Gatenby added: “My ultimate goal is to increase the size of the farm shop to allow for a bigger seating area for the café and also a bigger shop and car park, but that is for the future as for the moment we are totally focused on improving the existing space to give our customers the best possible experience.

"But we’re excited to keep Spring House Farm Shop as a family business, owned and run by local people.”