9th Mar 2016
Co-owners of 'What's Cooking?' Thame, Sally Dickinson and Tony Hazelton are passionate about great tasting food made from local, sustainably sourced ingredients. For everyone at 'What's Cooking?' food is a way of life and this amazingly individual local enterprise is helping to pass that ethos on to us all. Over the last few weeks the shop has undergone a complete renovation, extending into the next-door premises and creating a café area as well a more spacious deli-shop.
The new look 'What's Cooking?' is certainly a veritable box of delights; I defy anyone not to be captivated by the plethora of delicious items greeting you from the second you walk in the door. Delve a bit further into the store and you will find an array of take away home cooked meals, available either fresh or frozen depending on customer needs.
BarrJoinery were commissioned to manufacture the front of house cabinetry and display fittings, which have contributed significantly to the aesthetic of the newly refurbished shop and café. All cabinetry was manufactured in the workshop to exact specifications and subsequently fitted and finished on site by the same team of skilled craftsmen. 'What's Cooking?' share BarrJoinery's core value of attention to detail which together created a magic formula for the design.
The opening day last week proved a bustle of old and new customers alike; all keen to take a look at the newly refurbished premises and to try out the new café. Our first visit there on Wednesday lunchtime was a heavenly pleasure!
The lunch menu is innovative, fresh and exciting. If you are looking for something a little bit different this is the place for you. Glancing around at other diner's choices it was hard to decide between a creative homemade soup, a mouth-watering selection of paninis or something from the specials board;
each served with a choice of fabulous DELI SALADS.
The coffee alone is enough to draw the unsuspecting customer in from the street. Supplied by UE Coffee, the first and only 100% artisan wood powered coffee roastery in the UK. Based in Witney, UE coffee owner Dominic Boyett trained the 'What's Cooking?' staff in barista skills to make the perfect range of UE coffees. A genuine treat for both residents and visitors to Thame.
The café opens at 7.30 am for coffee and breakfast - so don't despair if a lunch stop is not in the agenda!
The internal joinery work, by BarrJoinery, speaks for itself. Commercial store fit joinery work often requires an innovative balance of materials to suit both the function and economic demands of the brief.
The front of house counter is manufactured from a combination of melamine faced medium density fiberboard and solid European larch. The counter top, designed to display a stunning array of mouthwatering delicacies, is manufactured from wide staved solid European Oak, finished with hardwearing oil and includes a Silestone section, ensuring maximum durability for the industrial coffee machine. Melamine faced MDF is used for the manufacture of the internal counter structure, painted in Little Greene 'Sage Green' with 30% percent sheen for the perfect durable finish. The larch clad counter front was built with a 'hit and miss' vertical boarding technique and lime waxed for a light natural look.
Display units were designed with open back and lower doors, with flush handles, which were spray finished and set on sliding door runners. A matching bespoke scales and chopping block display unit nestles underneath the fitted shelving designed with castors and brakes, cleverly creating an easily accessible, tuck away serving space.
Finally inside the window a bespoke fitted display unit with a larch fascia, matches the main counter and holds an array of boxed foodie gift items, beautifully packaged and perfect to take to any friend.
Sally and Tony were delighted with the finished results… “Every single person from BarrJoinery has been a pleasure and a joy to work with. We are really pleased with the quality of the work, the boys did everything we have asked of them and got on with the job quickly and professionally. Next time we would come straight to BarrJoinery without hesitation, particularly as we now know you have the whole package, design as well as build.
We are all looking forward to sneaking down the road to 'What's Cooking?' for a coffee and a bite to eat whenever the opportunity arises!