Berry Blue Cafe and Bistro reaches for the stars
It's mid-morning at the Berry Blue Café and Bistro and the place is buzzing.
In one corner a few young mums are meeting for coffee, their animated chatter contrasting with the hushed tones from two besuited men holding a business meeting a few tables along.
Elsewhere an elderly couple put the world to rights over a pot of tea.
Berry Blue Café and Bistro opened last May and has already become something of a hub for the large Cam community.
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In Noel Lee Way, in a light and airy building next to Cam Parish Council's new offices, it's open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, while from 6pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, diners can call in for Mexican meals at the Berry Blue Cantina.
Whether it's a full English, plate of enchiladas or a slice of blackcurrant, cinnamon and almond cake, ingredients are sourced as locally as possible and it was this, along with its friendly atmosphere, that made Berry Blue stand out as a finalist in the best independent café section in the Diamond Jubilee Taste of Gloucestershire Food and Farming Awards last year.
"We serve good, fresh, home-cooked, simple food with no foams or frills," explains Berry Blue's Claire Marshall.
"All in all the food here is simple but full of flavour. One of our best sellers has been our homemade elderflower pressé, while cakes such as our rosemary and lemon drizzle have quite a following.
"We're the only place around here doing Mexican-style food, although we keep to our ethos and use locally-sourced ingredients."
For owner Louise Brown, who combines running the Berry Blue Creative Food company with her work as a partner with a Bristol firm of commercial property solicitors, knowing the origin of her food is of huge importance.
"For me it's about traceability," she says. "A lot of people are wanting to know where their food comes from."
Louise's move to a farm in Cam 10 years ago enabled her to become more involved in growing fruit and vegetables.
The leap from her enjoying her own produce to running a catering company started as a result of disenchantment over the poor quality of food at the business events she attended.
"People seemed to take the view that it was corporate and nobody questioned what we were eating," says Louise, who set up Berry Blue Creative Food in 2007.
"At home, people try really hard to buy local produce and grow their own and I couldn't see why that had to stop when I visited a café or attended an event. I wanted to deliver something better.
"Our farm was producing some wonderful fruit, vegetables and herbs and I wanted an outlet to be able to share this food with other people."
After securing contracts to run a café within a firm of solicitors in Bristol and catering services for Stinchcombe Golf Club, Louise heard that Cam Parish Council was looking for somebody to run a café next to its newly-built offices and put in a proposal.
Now she employs four chefs and various support staff.
Berry Blue's suppliers range from Cam Catering Butcher, which sources meat from local farmers and makes the popular Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages on the breakfast menu, and Woodhcester-based Hall's Bakery, to customers who call in with gluts of produce from their own gardens, which they give in return for vouchers for lunches.
While Louise's farm is the source of some of the seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs used at the café, Berry Blue also deals with a locally-based fresh supplies company. Meanwhile drinks on sale include juices from Hilter Fruit Farm near Newent.
As well as using local produce whenever possible, Berry Blue strives to be part of its community by offering its building as a venue for events.
It hosted a small farmers' market during British Food Fortnight, served mulled wine and hot food to those who attended the switching on of Cam's Christmas lights and provided warming food such as "Pie in the Sky" and "Toad in the Black Hole" to people from the community who joined members of the Cam and Dursley Astronomy Club outside the café at the end of the BBC's Stargazing Live last week.
This year Berry Blue hopes to host Grow Your Own sessions for local children.
"We're here to serve our local community and we welcome community groups to come in and share the space," explains Claire.
"Berry Blue Café and Bistro is a local community café and one of our remits is to promote community involvement and encourage people to get together."