Seaside cafe feeds into local village
True food puts village on culinary map
Sustainable fine dining
Barely a stone’s throw from the South Devon coast at Ness Cove is a cafe that’s become the gold standard for sustainable catering. Founders Tim and Clare Bouget established ODE true food in Shaldon using the experience gained during 12 years working overseas in hotels and hospitality. Offering fine dining in intimate surrounds, ODE restaurant has thrived since its opening in 2006, earning kudos for its food and green credentials and welcoming guests from across the UK and further afield. They wanted to build on this success, expand, and move the business forward. The inspiration of how to do so followed from becoming parents.
"We’d go to certain beaches because there was a family friendly cafe with great coffee and good food, but found we’d have to travel 30 to 40 miles. We realised that our village, a great resort with two beaches, didn’t have anything like this and thought there’s a niche in the market."
Tim Bouget, co-founder of Cafe ODE
Tim explains: “When Thula was born, things changed. We’d go to certain beaches because there was a family friendly cafe with great coffee and good food, but found we’d have to travel 30 to 40 miles. We realised that our village, a great resort with two beaches, didn’t have anything like this and thought there’s a niche in the market – an opportunity for us which would be an asset to Shaldon.”
Their breakthough materialised when the local council looked to sell two derelict stable buildings next to the beach car park. “We had a very clear plan of what we wanted to do with it and how to develop it,” says Tim. “It comes back to the sustainable principles of our business. Without these we probably wouldn’t have got the tender. And actually, interestingly enough, we wouldn’t have got the finance either. No high street bank was willing to lend to us, but we got funding because Triodos liked what we were doing with the site.”
Cafe ODE was born - part renovation, conversion and new sustainable build. And the premises are just one ingredient, alongside affordable quality regional seasonal produce cooked and served by chefs, eco conscious interior designs, and spectacular views across the river to Teignmouth. Sustainable best practice runs throughout – there are even electric car charging points for customers. It’s this unwavering commitment which meant Café ODE recently won a Food for Life catering mark gold award – a condition of Triodos Bank’s loan. It’s a deserved accolade for a cafe where in terms of food, drink and sustainability, there is no room for compromise.