The owners of an award-winning attraction and food destination in Devon have unveiled plans to launch a regional chain of artisan bakery cafes.
Simon and Caroline Spiller, who run Otterton Mill, intend to launch their Molina Bakery concept later this year with sites in Exeter and East Devon.
The sites will have their own equipment capable of producing baked goods in-house.
The Spillers decided to expand their business as a way of reducing exposure to the mill, which has suffered more than 40 flood events in seven years.
It was the prolonged period of flooding in the winter of 2013/14 which caused the Spillers to close their cafe at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum last year, after only 18 months of operation.
“We simply weren’t able to guarantee supply of our fresh bakery produce from the Mill to the Museum during periods of extreme weather and flooding and this position became untenable. So, regrettably, we had to leave,” explained Simon.
However, the Molina Bakery will side step these flooding issues, with baking being done at each cafe.
“The Molina Bakery cafes will be an urbanised version of Otterton Mill’s cafe, with an increased emphasis on flair in the food and stylish interior design,” said Caroline. “However, the Mill’s values of warm, prompt service offering natural, healthy and fresh food which is locally and sustainably sourced, will be central”
The couple are looking for a “number of locations” across the South West, starting with Exeter and East Devon.
Caroline said: “Ideal sites will have an intrinsic ‘foodie’, cultural or heritage connection and be large enough for us to have an on-site bakery. We welcome approaches from landlords or others, who would like us to consider suitable sites and we are also starting to look for a team who will help us launch the cafes.”