Celebrating 11 years of ODE

In 2006 Clare and I returned home from working overseas for 12 years.  I’d had held Executive Chef and Food & Beverage posts at boutique hotels in Asia (Como Shambhala Estate-Bali), North America, Africa (Westcliff Hotel-South Africa, Saxon-South Africa, Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh-Red Sea Egypt)  and the Caribbean (Sandy Lane-Barbados). I had previously worked in restaurants and hotels in the UK for 8 years.  Clare had management experience in various sectors of the hospitality industry also so we both felt it was time to start our own restaurant business using all the experience and knowledge we had gained over the years.

Being from Devon myself and after many months of searching in the South West we decided on the estuary village of Shaldon, South Devon was first choice… due to its close proximity to the sea, Dartmoor, Exeter, trains to London and some of the best producers who farm in the region.

Our chosen property had previously been a ground floor restaurant and tea room for many years. We spent 3 months renovating the 3 storey Georgian town house and bringing it up to date whilst respecting its heritage at the same time.  We wanted a very strong eco ethos for the renovation and our business, that continues in our day today operations of our business today.  We opened quietly in December 2006 in time for Christmas and have been here ever since. Trading with our motto Refined dining, Locally inspired, Thoughtful hospitality.  “ODE” was named after the postcode and is an intimate dining room with just 7 tables seating a maximum of 24 persons. Almost like welcoming you to our home!

We relied strongly on word of mouth to gain our reputation and to a degree still do!  To this day we are still welcoming new guests to ODE dining from all over the UK and further afield.

Along the way we have been fortunate to have won or been shortlisted for numerous regional and national awards.  We have entries in all UK’s major food guides and have had numerous articles written about ODE dining in local and national publications.  All of this would not be possible without the hard work of our small dedicated and passionate team our suppliers and local producers. we thank you!!

In 2009 our daughter Thula was born, it got us thinking some more about the surrounding area and what was available for families in the way of eateries.  We noticed a gap in the market to provide quality, ethically sourced food served in a family friendly environment.

We often had to go further afield to find somewhere and thought that Shaldon being a great family village and destination for visitors would make a great location and asset to the village if we could find the right spot.

On our many walks to Ness Cove we often passed the derelict stable buildings by the car park and thought what a great location, imagine….. A sustainable building, quality regional seasonal produce, chefs, family friendly, great views, lots of parking……..

When our local council decided to sell the two buildings in 2012 we put in a tender with a clear vision to give a new lease of life to the former Ness stables.  Nothing would have been possible if we did not have support and funding from family, friends, investors and our banking partner Triodos.

cafe ODE, Ness Cove was born, part renovation, conversion and new sustainable build.

cafe ODE  is a family friendly cafe and take away with quality regional seasonal produce cooked and served by chefs,  eco conscious interior designs,  offers great views, plenty of outside and inside communal seating, grass area for kids to play on, electric car charging points for customers, bike racks, dogs are welcomed at our outside eating areas when kept on leads http://odetruefood.com/muddy-paws/

In February 2012 ODE dining was awarded sustainable restaurant of the year in the UK by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.  In December 2012 cafe ODE scored higher than ODE dining and is currently the highest rated restaurant/café in the UK to date.  In 2013 our business ODE true food won the hat trick and cafe ODE won sustainable restaurant for the second consecutive year in 2014. The same year our business won our biggest industry award a “Catey” for Sustainable Business.

ODE then starting working in partnership with Andy to develop the micro brewery, Two Beach Brewing Co which was trading for 3 years at cafe ODE. Andy has since moved on taking the brewery with him but we are working with another brewer to continue some of our bespoke ales which we have had since the beginning of ODE dining.

We also spread our wings down in to the South Hams for a couple of years, where we was invited to take our cafe ODE concept to Gara Rock.  We took some of our team down there and had a good two years trading until new developers took over and it was time for us to leave.

During our 2nd year at Gara Tim starting working on a new venture which was to develop and design the kitchen and restaurant for Coast View Holiday Park, Shaldon.  He then took on the management and operational role, which is our newest restaurant called ODE&CO – offering wood fired pizzas, grill & bar.

Thula is nine now so a little young to take over the restaurants etc but she can be seen setting tables in ODE dining at times!!!!!!

I wonder what is next for ODE true food?

We hope to see you soon

Tim, Clare, Thula and team ODE