New in Woodbridge: an exciting wine shop and the relaunch of a much loved bakery

Saltpeter Wines will work closely with local businesses in the area, including Ipswich's Hopsters an

Saltpeter Wines will work closely with local businesses in the area, including Ipswich's Hopsters and Pascale's in Woodbridge - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Saltpeter Wines offers ‘natural’ wines and refillable bottles, while the Cake Shop Bakery is being transformed into super foodie destination

Saltpeter Wines specialises in natural wines that are eco-friendly and ethically-sourced Picture: So

Saltpeter Wines specialises in natural wines that are eco-friendly and ethically-sourced Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Suffolk couple Maddie Bryett and David Jimenez Fernandez have opened Saltpeter Wines, Woodbridge’s latest independent shop tapping into a growing market for natural wines.

Maddie, originally from Ipswich, has worked extensively in the hospitality and retail industry, while partner David, from Málaga, has worked front of house at well-known tapas bars such as Brindisa in London.

Maddie specialises in natural wine, which she describes as “wine without the bad stuff”.

“Natural wines contain less sulphites and less additives – you can have over 50 additives in bottle of a wine and you don’t have to specify that on the label,” she says. Sulphites are the components found in wine that typically cause hangovers. Anecdotally, natural wines are a lot less likely to give you a fuzzy head the next morning.

Owner of The Cake Shop, David Wright in his new premises next to the bakery. Picture: SARAH LUCY BRO

Owner of The Cake Shop, David Wright in his new premises next to the bakery. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“Quite a lot of people are sensitive to sulphites, and you can find significant amounts of these in white and sweet wines, and certainly in wines at lower price points, where the emphasis is on volume rather than quality.”

Maddie believes natural wines tend to taste better and have a less detrimental effect on the environment. There’s minimal intervention in the vineyards during harvesting, she says, and fewer chemicals used on the vines as producers try to keep treatments to a minimum.

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“In terms of flavour, the wines tend to have a lot more fruit clarity. They’re not as over-extracted, they’re lighter in flavor and are easier to drink, with a real sense of place and time.

“If you buy a wine for £4, there’s usually an environmental consequence to that, and agriculture is one of the biggest polluters, so we want to champion the opposite of that. We’re also doing refillable wine bottles from sustainable wineries. Our aim is to deliver, reuse and recycle – like the milkman. Where possible, we will source organic wines – for us it’s still about the quality.”

Maddie and David are not only intent on selling reasonably priced, high-quality, eco-friendly wines but are also keen to work closely with other independent retailers across the region, which they believe is key to a successful business.

The couple have been working alongside Ed Barnes, owner of Ipswich craft beer shop Hopsters, who will stock some of their wines, and Sam Denny-Hodson from New Street Market.

Maddie and David, who will be stocking a variety of both British and imported wines, with bottles starting at £8.50 for a refill. They aim to expand Saltpeter’s offer to include spirits and would also like to open a bar.

“It’s so great to finally be able to communicate to people about the wines we are so passionate about,” says Maddie. “It’s a work in progress and we’re far from finished.”

Autumn drinking

“We’re massive Gamay fans and it’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day next month,” says Maddie. Beaujolais Nouveau, produced from Gamay grapes harvested in the Beaujolais region of France, is always released for sale on the third Thursday of every November.

She recommeds Saltpeter’s favourite Gamay wine, La Napoléon, from Clotaire Michal, named for a little chalet on the vineyard which features wood from the ship that brought Napoleon’s body home.

“It’s a beautiful red, and pairs especially well with roast lamb,” says Maddie. “The perfect Sunday lunch wine for this time of year.”

Saltpeter Wines is currently offering after hours wine-tasting sessions for people who want to learn more about natural wines. People can book in groups of six. Saltpeter will also be doing supper clubs with Fork and Field at Cragg Sisters and Vida Haus, creating exciting food and wine pairings.

Exciting new future for the Cake Shop Bakery

Meanwhile, in one of Suffolk’s best-loved, award-winning bakeries, The Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge, is undergoing a transformation in a new location right next door to its Thoroughfare home of the past seven decades.

David Wright, who runs the family business, has been overseeing renovations at the former Fire Station Cafe, creating a foodie destination which he says gives a nod to The Cake Shop’s past, while embracing an exciting world of new possibilities.

“The most important thing for me, is to keep it fresh and fun for everyone. We want to go back to our heritage and what we’re really good at, but to play with that so we and the customers really enjoy what we’re doing.”

All the usual baked goods for which The Cake Shop is well know will be complemented by a raft of innovations, including a brand-new selection of pies and pastry specialities in time for Christmas. “We’re going to concentrate more on the cakes, so we’ve been working hard behind the scenes and we’ll be bringing in new products all the time,” says David. “It’s this whole idea of looking back through our 75-year history of baking – we’re looking at things like Battenbergs and Florentines.”

The shop will also sell a range of farmhouse cheeses sourced via Neal’s Yard Dairy, which has been championing British dairies in lockdown, refillable bottles of organic wine, and craft beer, sandwiches and salads, using local suppliers, and breakfast pots. For home bakers The Cake Shop is stocking everything necessary to make good bread. “Flour was our biggest seller in lockdown,” David says, “so we wanted to build on that. We’ll offer flour, yeast, sourdough starter, lots of things. If we can support interest in baking it’s beneficial for everyone.”

Despite cooler weather blowing in, David says soft serve ice cream, which was trialled over the summer, is definitely on the menu at the new shop. The nostalgic treat has seen a surge in popularity in the last two years, with artisan ice cream stores popping up across the UK. The Cake Shop Bakery’s twist will be flavours reminiscent of ‘stuff on toast’. The ice cream’s base flavour is toasted sourdough, which can be eaten on its own or with toppings such as peanut butter and jam, and marmalade.

“We’re just taking bread that would be thrown away and trying to be creative with it – to not be wasteful,” says David. Reducing waste and being sustainable is a big focus for the business which is currently in the process of changing its plastic bags to biodegradable versions, and exploring using biodegradable cellophane wrapping.

Currently seating isn’t available at the new premises, but there are plans for cheese and bread boards with wine to be served outside in the warmer months next year, and takeaways are still very much on the cards, with online ordering. There will be Fire Station coffee and other hot drinks. David has invested in a top quality filter machine, enabling him to offer better value for money and provide people with faster service.

Meal deals on breakfasts, lunch items and end-of-day products are being introduced, and home deliveries (launched at the height of lockdown) are continuing.

“I’m excited,” David says. “I don’t think the challenges for any business are over, but we’re looking forward, especially to our 75th anniversary next year.”

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