A WOMAN from a local farming background has found all the right ingredients to ensure her cafe has become a resounding success.

Jennifer Ireland took over the family-owned Shire Gate Cafe on Battle Hill in Hexham earlier this year and it’s gone from strength to strength ever since.

The answer is down to several factors. The beef, lamb and pork comes from Jennifer’s farm at Oakdene Farm, Wylam – home to a herd of Hereford cattle. And fresh local produce is guaranteed, driving the ever changing menu which is topped off by home-bakes.

Jennifer also oversaw the refurbishment of the cafe, which has given it the appeal of a farmhouse kitchen, and the result is not only a warm welcome, but hearty farmhouse meals.

Providing quality meat from farm to fork is something that runs in the family. Jennifer’s grandfather was a butcher and had shops in South Shields before moving to Wylam. And her mum, Joanne Robson, ran the cafe before retiring ten years ago. Jennifer used to run the cafe with her mum, but her love of horses took her around the world, including the Rio Olympics, where she looked after horses for professional showjumpers including Scott Brash and John Whitaker.

But when the opportunity to reopen the cafe as a family business arose, after the previous tenants left, Jennifer decided it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“And since then we have had a really good reaction,” she said. “We have had lots of compliments and people say they are really pleased with the food. Everything is made fresh every day.”

Jennifer now employs four staff and does between 70 to 80 Sunday lunches every week. The cafe is currently only open during the day, but at the end of January it will be opening on Friday and Saturday evenings for pop-up steak nights.

She added: “All the comments on TripAdvisor talk about the good food, pleasant surroundings and pleasant staff.