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See inside newly opened Baern cafe at the Bowhouse in East Neuk of Fife

Giacomo Pesce and Hazel Powell in Baern Cafe.
Giacomo Pesce and Hazel Powell in Baern Cafe.

Sometimes going into business with friends can prove risky, however, for Hazel Powell and Giacomo Pesce, their shared vision was the beginning of their new café Baern.

Located in the East Neuk of Fife in Anstruther at food and drink marketplace, Bowhouse at Balcaskie Estate, the duo has launched their own venture, becoming the latest of businesses to call the venue home.

Bowhouse aims to replace the missing link in the food chain by connecting locals to their producers who are on their doorsteps. They organise markets on the second weekend of each month and host a weekly shopping experience.

Inside Baern.

Residents include a zero waste refillable shop and Futtle organic brewery, plus there is also a butchery section, a market garden and Scotland The Bread flour is also made here in a bid to make more nutritious and sustainable bread.

Identifying Bowhouse as the ideal location for their business, Hazel (32) and Giacomo (33) had the idea of opening a café and sourdough bakery while working at Fhior in Edinburgh together.

Along with their vision and a £20k investment from the government, the pair was supported by the estate to make their dream a reality.

Bowhouse in East Neuk of Fife. Baern
Bowhouse in East Neuk of Fife.

Seasonal dishes

Focusing on showcasing the best local producers and their products on Baern’s menu, Hazel is determined to become a strong part of the Bowhouse and East Neuk of Fife community.

She said: “We want to become a real part of the community and provide employment locally. There are lots of producers here so we want it to become a full shopping experience.

baern cafe at bowhouse
Orange soup with homemade za’atar and sourdough focaccia with radicchio kimchi and new potatoes.

“We have quite a small menu, of which 90% is made from the produce on the estate. All of the dishes we make will reflect the other producers here at Bowhouse.

“The menu will change quite a lot, but we are keeping it very seasonal. Two breakfast dishes including our own yoghurt and we’ll use excess grains from Futtle to make our own granola. The excess hops from Futtle will also be used to make a breakfast compote syrup.

“We will have a range of savoury and sweet pastries in the morning, too. And then for lunch, sourdough and focaccia sandwiches and a nice seasonal soup.

“Once it gets a bit warmer, we will swap our salad out for a soup.”

Hazell Powell in Baern.

Freshly made sourdough bread

In addition to the selection of dishes on offer, the pair have plans to wholesale sourdough bread to customers at Bowhouse using Scotland The Bread flour and a woodfire oven in the café.

“We trying to make the most traditional and good for you loaf of bread. Scotland the Bread’s whole ethos is to grow a grain that’s really good for you, with a high nutritional value.

“So, we are trying to make a product that reflects that.” Hazel explained.

The idea behind this is to create a product which is good for the body as well as being delicious, that customers can sit-in and enjoy or take away.

The future of Baern

Open Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm the café seats 20 indoors in addition to a large sharing table in the courtyard, and is available for walk-ins only.

As well as this, in the future the upstairs will be used for events and guest chef pop-ups which will be bookable in advance.

The café interior.

Hazel added: “I have many plans. I want Baern to become a collaboration between Scotland The Bread flour and all the other businesses here – like a food hub –  and make it a cookery school where people can learn and eat delicious food.”

Address: Bowhouse, St Monans, East Neuk, Anstruther, KY10 2DB

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