– Credit: Lois Hammon
Honey + Harvey, the popular independent coffee shop with branches in Woodbridge and Melton, will soon be opening its much-anticipated Ipswich branch.
Located on the former site of Mambos Bar & Grill in Queen Street, the company’s newest cafe has been a long-time coming – with the pandemic and building work delaying its initial planned opening date of August 2020.
The company is now hoping to open its Ipswich branch at the end of February – led by Aaron Skerritt, executive chef; Rosie Robinson, group operations manager; and Michelle Wall, office manager.
“It will be our largest site at 2,500 square feet and the first site outside the Woodbridge area,” said Jackie Ha, director of Honey + Harvey. “We wanted to expand and get into another town centre that’s close to home. The site in Ipswich came up, and we thought it was perfect.”
The Ipswich branch of Honey + Harvey will have a similar breakfast and brunch menu to its Woodbridge and Melton branches – including the popular avocado, eggs and bacon, and classic full English. “We will also be having a few more specials to add to our lunchtime offer,” added Jackie.
The new site will also have a licence to serve alcoholic drinks on a Friday and Saturday night. “We’re in a town centre, so we wanted to take advantage of that. It’s not going to be a bar, but it means we are able to offer something different and a little bit unusual.”
During the day, customers can enjoy Honey + Harvey’s signature coffee, which is roasted in-house, along with a selection of sweet and savoury treats. “We’re all about good-quality coffee and good ingredients sourced as locally as possible.” Examples of local suppliers used by Honey + Harvey include Pinneys of Orford, Cleveleys Foods in Halesworth and Anglia Produce in Lawford, near Manningtree.
– Credit: Lois Hammon
Much like Woodbridge and Melton, the new Ipswich branch aims to replicate the feel of the high-end, independent-style coffee shops found in big cities. This was the vision of the company’s co-founder, Nick Ekins, who opened the first Honey + Harvey in Woodbridge in 2011.
“Going around London, you have a massive choice of coffee shops, and they’re all slightly different. We were just trying to bring that ‘London vibe’ to Suffolk,” said Jackie. “Back then it was probably quite unusual to have a coffee shop with its own beans.”
He added that the company’s success to date can be attributed to “providing consistent, high-quality customer service and food, and recruiting skilled, passionate staff who care about the work they do.”
Honey + Harvey retained this level of service throughout the pandemic – with its Woodbridge and Melton branches remaining open for takeaways during lockdown. “Takeaway worked really well for us. The space at Melton in particular is very light and airy – and as with everywhere else, customers came in one way and went out through the other. It was the same at Woodbridge.
“We could box everything up ready to take away, and we just ended up being quite a nice place for people to drive to and pick up their coffees on the way to their walks,” Jackie added. “People felt safe and comfortable coming in and getting whatever they needed from us.”
Customers can now look forward to the imminent opening of the Ipswich branch – and possibly others in the not-too-distant future. “We hope to keep expanding and continuing to grow the Honey + Harvey brand in Suffolk and the neighbouring counties,” said Jackie. “We’re not in any hurry. We’ll do it right, and when a premises comes along that seems to fit with our ethos, that will be the right one for us.”
East Suffolk Council
Jason Noble, Local Democracy Reporter
Ipswich Town vs Portsmouth | Match reaction