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The New Bread and Cheese in Benfleet

The New Bread and Cheese in Benfleet

We are so excited to catch up with the new management at The Bread and Cheese and get to meet the people behind the business and their story. It is now more important than ever to support local businesses and we have already heard some great things about their Sunday Roast so we are excited to hear about why the community is so important to them and what we can expect to see from them!

Can you give us a short introduction about yourself and your story?

I’m Maddy, the General Manager at the Bread and Cheese, Hi! I run the Bread and Cheese with my fiancé Tom, the Kitchen Manager. I was born and bred in Chelmsford where I fell in love with the hospitality industry. I’ve held positions in all aspects of pub life, from pot-wash, commis chef, waitress and also bar staff, that all started from the age of 16! From Chelmsford I’ve moved around a fair bit, from Ely in Cambridge, to Leicester where I completed a Business Management and Human Resource Management degree to Peterborough and now back down to Essex. All while working in different types of venues, from busy night clubs, to Indian restaurants. However, I always seem to find myself back in the place I love the most, the pub!

For Tom, he has also been in the hospitality industry from the age of 15! He started off at a catering college in Cambridge, studying in classic French cuisine which led to becoming a head chef by the age of 20 in a very successful restaurant! By the age of 22 he had become the Executive Head Chef of a group of steak houses. He has so much passion for cooking it baffles me every day. He has high hopes and plans for the future for the Bread and Cheese by working on new dishes and concepts of menus every day.

We are also part of a family run pub company which has been built from one pub that started it all in Ely, that has been expanded throughout Essex and Cambridge. We can’t wait to make the Bread and Cheese a new addition to an already amazing company that puts families first.

We are all about hard work, commitment and creating a safe home -from-home environment for all our guests.


What is your favourite thing about the area you live?

Definitely has to be the people! I have never worked somewhere where (literally) all the customers have been nothing but lovely. There is a such a great community spirit around Benfleet and it is really refreshing to see so many people supporting one another.

We are also big fans of outdoor spaces so have loved living right next to Thundersley Glen so that we can go for walks through the forest, and take some snaps of the squirrels!

How and why did you start?

We originally planned to open up the Bread and Cheese in December and everything was ready to go, but I remember our team all watching the latest press conference saying that the UK was heading for another lockdown. So that was a bit disheartening, but was kind of a blessing in disguise in another sense. It gave us time to really get the pub to the standard we wanted it to be, and to really think about what we wanted to do for our takeaways. So, since the 4th January we have been operating as a takeaway.

We started our business because we had heard in the grapevine that the Bread and Cheese, had sadly been shut for a few months, and as it is such an iconic pub we wanted to see if we could do it some justice! My dad actually used to drink at the Bread and Cheese which I didn’t realise until we took it over. We just felt it was the perfect time to start a new business venture as we found ourselves ready to take on something new.


What exciting plans/changes do you have to for the Bread and Cheese?

Our main focus for the Bread and Cheese is to create a homemade gastro inspired menu. We want to offer tasty, affordable food, done well, for all the community to enjoy. We are passionate about food and want to make other people passionate about it too! So, watch this space for exciting new menus and concepts.

Also, we want to focus more on our outside space, as we feel that alfresco dining is going to be the future of the hospitality industry. We have plans to improve an already gorgeous garden to make it into a much more accessible space that the whole family can enjoy with safe social distancing measures.

What does community mean to you and your business?

Community is one of the biggest aspects of pub life. I’ve always found that a good ol’ pub is a great environment for family and friends to get together, because you can sit back relax and come together for any type of occasion, from weddings, birthdays or just to come and have a catch up over a coffee or a beer. Food is also a massive part of that because we can all find some sort of comfort in food. We have also tried to support the local community here by teaming up with ABC Taxis. We used them a lot when we first moved to Benfleet, and a lot of the drivers were telling us how hard they have been hit with no one going out at the minute, understandably. So, we partnered up with them so that they could deliver our food in a covid secure way, and in return they receive 100% of the delivery charge, so that everyone wins. It has been a great success so far, and we are very grateful for their commitment and support

How has Covid effected your business and what changes have you made?

We are well versed in making a covid secure environment as we have been working throughout the pandemic, including a friendly atmosphere whilst still adhering to social distancing, hourly cleaning procedures and keeping staff and guests safe at all times. However, it has affected how we operate as a takeaway rather than an open pub, but we are grateful that we have had that opportunity, as I know so many other businesses in the industry have had a devastating year.

When we get the green lights, and we can guarantee a safe environment to welcome guests into the pub, we will continue to have covid secure regulations at the forefront of our business strategy and daily operations, because we want to be able to help guests feel as safe as possible throughout their visit with us. We know that 2021 will continue to be a challenging time for us, like so many others, so we will adapt where-ever we need to comply with government regulations.


How can you help/where can we find your business?

Our aim is to support the community now and always, so if there is anything that anyone needs, our phone is always active, as is our messenger. If and when we can reopen, we will continue to offer a takeaway service for those that are shielding or are still working from home, so that no one has to miss out. We are also going to offer a ‘Safe Work Space’ for those that are still working from home, but would like a different workspace for the day; you can come in, use our wifi and still do a day’s work in a different environment.

You can find us on our Facebook and Instagram pages, walking past Bread and Cheese Hill, or just at the end of the phone.

Insta Tag –@thebreadandcheesepub

Facebook Tag –The New Bread and Cheese



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