TWO brothers realize their dream of opening a bakery and a delicatessen together.
Jack and Freddie Wilcox, of Stoke Row, will open McQueen’s in the former Field Kitchen premises in High Street, Nettlebed, next month.
They will be selling their own sourdough bread, pastries, salads, soups and coffee as well as fresh local produce and other foods.
They are also planning pizza and gelato nights in the summer and outdoor seating.
Jack, 31, said: “We want to create space for the local community and support local producers and millers while contributing to a more sustainable food system.
“I’ve been a baker since 2013 and Freddie has been working as a chef for five years and we got to a point where we wanted to produce something we’re proud of and passionate about, using high quality ingredients and supporting local businesses. wanted to create a place where people can do their weekly shopping and come in for lunch or lunch.
“We hope to offer a bit of everything and sell products you don’t see in supermarkets, supporting small businesses that are just getting started.”
Freddie, 28, said: “We are very excited. We know the folks at Nettlebed missed something like this, so it makes sense for customers and for us.
“I own about 100 cookbooks and like to try new recipes all the time, which is what I’m going to do here.”
The couple grew up with their parents, Simon and Libby, in Stoke Row and attended Shiplake College before going to university.
Jack studied Geography at Portsmouth while Freddie studied Sport and Business at Southampton. Freddie then pursued his passion for making ice cream by working for Gelupo, a gelateria in London, while Jack took a course to become a baker.
Jack said: “During my university studies, I realized that geography didn’t work for me professionally.
“I used to go to the bakery in Watlington as a child and loved it, but I had never experienced baking my own bread until I took a course.
“I realized it was something I loved so much and wanted to pursue long term. Freddie has always been into food too.
The brothers were both working at Goring Grocer when they decided it was time to open their own business.
Jack said: “We’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time and it was just the perfect space for it.
“We saw how much potential he had and it made so much sense for us to get up and run in a place like this, it felt good. I had wanted to have my own bakery for a long time, but the delicatessen style seemed to appeal to me.
“The whole concept of a place where people can get everything they need made a lot of sense.
“There’s definitely a demand for something like this in Nettlebed and people are really excited for us to join the village and excited for what we’re going to bring to the table.
“We’re also very excited – there’s a lot of work to do and we know it’s going to be tough, but we’re really excited to be able to create something for ourselves and do something together.”
The company is named after their mother’s middle name. Jack said: “She’s the person we were inspired by. When we were growing up, she was always in the kitchen making all kinds of treats.
The Field Kitchen closed in April last year when Dave Field and Barb Grigor, who had run it for 10 years, retired.