Sometimes in life you stumble across little hidden gems, most often when you don’t expect it but almost always when you need it. Fiona and Jock at Woodlea Stables are two of those gems. Based in Crossgates, Fife, Fiona and Jock have created a truly world class country bakery and market experience. From humble beginnings and true artisan crafting, Woodlea Stables can lay claim to producing the best sourdough bread in Scotland.
For us though, what really drew us to setting up shop here in Fife, was the feeling of being at home. Anyone who spends some time at Woodlea Stables, will agree that there is homely feel about the place. From the home cooked meals, to the relaxing atmosphere where everyone is welcome, Woodlea Stables has become our home away from home.
In early 2016, Ash and Jason were lucky enough to be invited to the farm to build ‘The Shed’ for their festival business. They couldn’t believe their luck! Jock is an ex-carpenter and had every bit of machinery you could imagine. He was more than willing to share his knowledge, while assisted by Jason’s good friend Quin, to help the boys build a new structure for the coming festival season.
Keen to repay the favour, Jason had noticed an old coffee roaster tucked away in the corner of the workshop gathering dust. Jason approached Katelyn for some help and she jumped at the chance to get involved, especially with having family ties to Fife. The 5kg electric roaster known as Stella was refurbished into action (which we will save for another blog).
A growing love for Scotland emerged, just as Ash and Jason longed for a change, the team approached Fiona and Jock to see if they would be interested in working together on a roastery project they had in mind, Common. Without hesitation they agreed to share their space, time and equipment to give the team a shot at starting fresh. It was the break we needed, London had left us a little deflated with our previous business endeavours. So a quiet, homely farm just outside Edinburgh felt like the perfect reset.
Watching Fiona and Jock create a community feel to their operation at Woodlea Stables has had some direct influence into what we aspire Common to be as a brand and once we open our first flagship café/roastery, what we imagine it will represent. Spending the last 18 months working with Fiona and Jock two things became clear. They both work extremely hard and working with them has really inspired us to keep chasing our dream. The support they have shown us has been truly overwhelming, quite simply we would not be here if it wasn’t for both Fiona and Jock. They are truly inspirational.
If you get a chance, jetting up to Woodlea is a must do weekend adventure but be sure to get there early before they sell out of all the delicious bread, eggs, and treats!
All photos are by our friend Sascha Gerritzen, Moving Shades.