Coffee shop with quirky interior being launched in Leicestershire village by retired police officer

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A yearning for a cup of freshly ground coffee, combined with a passion for baking, has led to one local couple launching their own coffee shop in a Leicestershire village.

Malt Mill Coffee and Bakery will be opening next month in Barwell, near Hinckley.

It is being launched by retired police officer Paul Baggott and his fiancée Donna Harrison, who runs Star Anise Beauty Therapy from the Malt Mill Bank premises where the coffee shop will be opening.

Star Anise originally occupied both floors, but has now moved upstairs, so that the coffee shop can open on the ground floor.

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Paul said that due to there being a lack of local coffee shops serving good quality coffee, he and Donna would often head into Leicester for a cup.

Then, over coffee one day, the couple came up with the idea of combining two businesses in one premises and launching their own coffee shop.

Having retired from Leicestershire Police in June this year, after 25 years, Paul has been able to put the plan into action.

Malt Mill will be serving coffee using St Martin’s Friday Street Coffee beans, freshly ground on demand. As well as providing the ethically sourced beans, St Martin’s Coffee Roasters, based in Great Glen, has provided the equipment and barista training.

Other drinks will include a variety of loose leaf teas, served in china tea cups.



The Hash will be one of the items you can enjoy at Malt Mill

Paul, who has been providing catering for a friend’s vintage fairs for a number of years, will be making the most of his baking talents, and producing an arrray of cakes for Malt Mill – hence the ‘bakery’ part of the business’s name.

There will be favourites such as Victoria sponge, coffee and walnut cake and chocolate brownies, along with items that Paul has been making for years, including lemon and polenta cake and peanut butter flapjacks.

He will also be producing some of his own artisan bread loaves, as well as using a local bread supplier.

Aside of the baked goods, diners will be able to take their pick from a “small but well-thought-out” menu featuring breakfast/brunch and lunch dishes.

Options include The Piglet, which is an artisan rustic baguette filled with either dry cured bacon or pork sausages from Woodhouse Farm in nearby Elmesthorpe, and the Mumbai Breakfast, comprising chilli cheese on toasted sourdough, topped with two free range eggs, rocket and homemade tomato sauce.

The Hash includes sautéed herby Maris Piper potatoes with Woodhouse sausage, sourdough croutons, mushrooms, a free range egg, crispy kale and smoky beans. A vegetarian version is available, with vegetarian sausage.

The lunchtime offering will focus on baguettes, with variations including The Allotment, with roasted seasonal vegetables, rocket, goats cheese and pea mint pesto, Squeeky Cheese, with grilled halloumi, avocado, rocket and sundried tomato pesto, The Ham, with sliced Woodhouse ham, chilli jam, watercress and fig balsamic, and The Pollo, with lime roasted chicken, homemade guacamole and homemade spicy salsa.

There will also be seasonal specials available.

“We aim to offer customers a personal service in a relaxing environment, with plenty of interesting things to look at, including the food,” said Paul.

When it comes to the decor, it’s certainly out of the ordinary.

Paul has made use of the eclectic mix of items he has collected over the years – from signs to furniture, with a combination of Victorian, Edwardian and industrial styles.



Inside Malt Mill Coffee and Bakery
Inside Malt Mill Coffee and Bakery

“The cakes, for example, will be displayed in a Victorian display cabinet which had been in the same haberdashery shop for 120 years. The seating has mostly come from chapels and churches,” said Paul.

“It’s a bit like Salvage Hunters meets Gordon, Gino and Fred!”

As well as offering a dine-in service, takeaways will be available – with items served in recyclable or compostable packaging.

Malt Mill Coffee and Bakery is due to open on Tuesday, August 17.

Opening hours will be Tuesday to Saturday 8.30am to 2.30pm and Sunday 9am to 1pm.