SHW Design Deliver New Tiptree Tea Room / by Gareth Sefton

SHW Design have recently completed work on Tiptree’s new store and tea room in Essex. 

Tiptree is a part of the Wilkin & Sons group, who have been fruit growers and preservers since 1885, and more recently, have branched out into tea rooms with over ten tea rooms in Essex. 

Their newest venue has opened at the Bond Street retail development in Chelmsford, which compromises a traditional Tiptree Tea Room, cafe patisserie and shop selling jam, sauces and flavoured gin liqueurs.

To bring the store and tea room to life, SHW Design were commissioned to design the first floor kitchen which would be used to produce light snacks and cream teas, as well as specify equipment for the ground floor’s retail and servery areas. 

The project was split into two parts, with SHW Design’s Lead Consultant, Graham Bean, taking on the kitchen development and SHW Implementation, headed up by Mike Bennett, tasked with the supply and installation of the equipment, specialist fabrication and servery food displays.

Graham said: “Work commenced on the Tiptree Tea Room back in May, when we started the design of the small, galley-style kitchen on the first floor.

“The kitchen required a preparation area and basic cooking facilities, which would allow staff to produce a menu for afternoon tea and light lunches to be served in the tea room, as well as a wash up area.

“The biggest challenge of this project was to integrate a catering-style service into the store downstairs, creating a design which would blend seamlessly into the retail environment.”

The double height store which has a larder area with the retail section on the ground floor, also needed a ‘grab and go’ area which allowed for coffees and pastries to be served to a cafe seating area or for takeaway.

For the implementation side of the project, Mike managed the procurement of all the equipment required by Tiptree, allowing them to achieve best market price.

Implementation Director, Mike, said: “Working on the Tiptree retail unit brought its own pressures, but with the Tiptree management team being on hand to answer all queries in a positive and professional manner made the design and fit out process run smoothly from concept to handover.”

All equipment installations, including refrigeration by Precision and Winterhalter warewashing, as well as specialist fabrications were then managed by the SHW Implementation team ready for the opening at the beginning of October.

Graham added: “It was a pleasure to work on this big venture with Wilkin & Sons, it was our first project with them and we really enjoyed working with the whole Tiptree team, including their Retail Manager, Emma Brothers.”

The team at Tiptree were delighted with the work completed by SHW Design, their Tea Rooms Operation Manager, Manuel Martinez, said: “Graham and the team were professional, cooperative and supportive throughout the entirety of our project.

Our specific equipment and operational requirements were handled capably, with a notable attention to detail. Their substantial knowledge was of considerable value to our team and without their continued communication this build would have been a much greater challenge.”

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