“ The personal service I received was superior.
No query or problem was left unanswered or unattended.”

Nicholas King

Rants and Recipes

Chris Bland

A personal account of a lifetime running the Acorn Wholefood Café

Rants and Recipes

£9.95

ISBN 9781781323373

Published Jan 2015

Paperback
216 x 140mm (132 pages)

I have held out long and hard against the steaming, banging coffee machines that abound everywhere – I can’t understand how they afford it. (However, I do a fantastic imitation of a hissing coffee machine.) We do the basics – filter, cafetičre and good old-fashioned milky coffee, and not over-priced, flavourless, trendy coffee – if you can call it that! I have had a few people walk out because I do not provide cappuccino coffee. But they miss out on wonderful, flavoursome Machu Picchu coffee. Yes, you can survive without cappuccinos.

In 1986 Chris Bland gave up the corporate life and opened a wholefood café. This is her story…

"Are you still open?” could have been the title of this book – I would be a millionaire if I were paid each time I was asked this.

Acorn Wholefood Café started in the hey-day of Cranks, and Sarah Brown – my heroine – was a lifeline. I learnt from her varied and interested recipes, then adapted them to create my own. The reasons for choosing wholefood as the key focus of the Acorn are clear: introducing the concepts and goodness of wholefoods was a passion I could not ignore.

Acorn is in the building that my grandmother had a café in forty years previously, so I became the third generation of Blands to run a business in the idyllic setting of Church Stretton, nestled in the lovely Shropshire hills. A multitude people have passed through – some singing my praises, others hating my uncompromising attitude to ‘wholefood beliefs’. Numerous friendships have been forged, and so many loyal customers.

Plenty of the funny and incredible incidents that have happened at the Acorn over the years are here. Recipes were requested, even begged for, but I had no time then, and so much was in my head and hands. Unique and interesting meals could have disappeared with my retirement, and that would have been a great shame.

It has been great fun writing and reminiscing, so please read on. There are a few rants – you should expect that from me – but I hope you find the life and times of the Acorn interesting – and please try out my lovely recipes.

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