Sustainable fine dining
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.
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.
“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
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.
Within a year of its opening in the Spring 2012, Cafe ODE was celebrating winning restaurant of the year at the Sustainable Restaurant Awards. When you examine the philosophy behind the business, it’s not surprising. Every aspect of the cafe meets the most stringent sustainability criteria, from the beautiful food, sourced locally using only the finest seasonal produce, to the solar water heating on its Sedum kitchen roof. Cafe ODE was rated as a three star sustainability champion by the Sustainable Restaurant Association in January 2014, and received a gold award from the food for life partnership in 2013. www.odetruefood.com
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