Northampton town centre restaurant owners bid farewell after 15 successful years, to focus on second business
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The owners of a town centre restaurant are bidding farewell after 15 successful years, to focus on their second business.
Rachael and Daniel Sutch have been in charge of The Dining Room, part of 78 Derngate, for a decade-and-a-half and will be handing it over to a new owner within the next month.
They took on their second business, The Barn Cafe Restaurant, ahead of the pandemic in May 2019 – and that will be their sole focus after they part ways with The Dining Room.
The Barn is located at the Old Dairy Farm Craft Centre in Upper Stowe and has built a good reputation for afternoon tea over its first four years.
Talking about their decision to leave The Dining Room, Rachael said: “We wanted a new challenge.”
With the pair having their son Seb since they took over the restaurant, they want a better work-life balance – particularly with the demand to work weekends at The Dining Room.
As they also live in Rugby, the commute has played a big role in their decision to move on.
“We’ve got to look back and think of all the good times and what we’ve achieved,” said Rachael. “Seb was an IVF baby and we managed that through fundraising from The Dining Room.
“We’ve had good times but it’s time to let someone else take over. We’ve run out of steam. With the extension of 78 Derngate, the restaurant needs someone here all the time.”
Rachael looks back fondly on the first decade after they took over The Dining Room and is proud of how they adapted when the pandemic hit – by introducing takeaways and deliveries.
Afternoon tea proved popular at The Dining Room and during the peak, they sold 80 on a Saturday despite the restaurant only seating up to 30 people at one time.
“It was like a conveyor belt of food,” said Rachael. “We did a lot of dinner parties and evenings of private dining as well.”
The pair have already seen a crossover of customers who visit both venues, and hope to see regulars visit them at The Barn when they depart The Dining Room.
Rachael described it as “very different, rural and rustic”, with a log burner for customers to enjoy.
Daniel thoroughly enjoys making the afternoon teas and is fully committed to perfecting The Barn’s food offering.
Rachael said: “We don’t just work in the daytime, we have commercial ovens at home. It’s a 24-hour operation.”
They hope to introduce a set lunch menu once they are settled at The Barn – with Daniel already over there full-time and Rachael soon to join him.
When asked what sets The Barn apart from other cafe restaurants, Rachael said: “Everything’s all homemade – our quiche, soup and we have a massive cake table.
“There are at least 10 cakes on offer, from coffee and walnut, Victoria and all the favourites.”
The venue is also in the company of a variety of craft shops and well-established businesses, who Rachael says are all equally as passionate about what they do.
“I’m keen to get over there and put all my energy into it,” she added.