A Welcome to Cornmill Yard

“Remember the days of the old school yard – we used to laugh a lot.” – Cat Stevens, 1977.

Our vision for Cornmill Yard was to create a social space to be used by the local community to…

  • Create a sense of belonging
  • For small independent businesses to set up, work alongside each other and collaborate
  • Create a community space in the purest sense; a space for people to meet, eat and drink
  • Offer a space for workshops, book clubs and running clubs. 
  • And so, the old brick storeroom on Cornmill Road, with its concrete ‘yard’, adjacent to a working factory making furniture, was the beginning. We have spent the last year during the pandemic, converting the storeroom in an exquisite café area, microbrewery and small working kitchen. 

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    Inspired after living in London and seeing the explosion of independent coffee houses, serving speciality coffee, the Yard has created its own resident coffee shop.  ‘The Collective’, serves the finest Method coffee and a great selection of homemade cakes and snacks, using local products and ingredients wherever possible. We welcome the young and the old, the walkers and the runners, and everyone in between to come and meet the Cornmill Crew, see the beautiful industrial style coffee bar and taste the exquisite Method coffee. Method Coffee are a local roastery from Worcester who work directly with specialist farms and co-operatives to carefully select only the best coffee for their customers. 

    The Cotswold Salt Beef company have a very special place in the Cornmill Yard Story; they are the founding members of our pop-up pals and are with us the first Friday of every month, serving their unique salt beef experience. We continue to build up the Friday festivities and are delighted to include Grandad’s Kitchen and The Indian Guy as part of our regular street food kitchens. 

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    Opening in the midst of a global pandemic was probably the worst, or possibly the best, time to open our community space and café. We hope that as we start to come out of lock down, Cornmill Yard can provide a much-needed space to meet up with old friends and perhaps make some new ones. It is vital that we continue to support the small independent businesses with are key to the heart of any community, and we have been overwhelmed by the encouragement and positive comments since we opened in January. We are delighted to Welcome Vanity Hair and Beauty, Nails & Lashes by Emma, and Nails by Robyn to the Cornmill Yard family and are excited to be working alongside a vibrant new business. Welcome to the Yard.
    Their Instagram: @vanityattheyard

    We also have a Nano brewery on site, Little Beer Brewing Company. They take things back to basics, spending time perfecting their recipes until it is perfect. If you like great craft beer and a terrible pun, then check them out!
    Their Instagram: @littlebeerbrewingcompany

    From the original Corn store, to the engineering factory, (which produced a prototype for the concord nose cone), through to the present-day furniture manufacturer, Cornmill Yard has always been a place of industry and craftsmanship. We want to cherish and remember our history and help create a space that incorporates and celebrates this, working in a collaborative way where community is more important that corporate, and have some fun along the way. 

    Run Talk Run

    The 5 W’s – WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY – RTR Evesham #jointheclan 

    Run Talk Run Evesham started in September 2020, mid Pandemic, although it was something I had wanted to do since returning home from London in the summer of 2018. Run Talk Run exists to make mental health support and running more accessible and less intimidating. Pretty simple, and yet so desperately needed when 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year (in England). 

    Run Talk Run (RTR) was the brainchild of Jess Robson, which she started in 2017. Jess is an incredibly inspiring and amazing person who I had the pleasure of getting to know when I lived in London. Jess had struggled with her mental health and depression for a long time but found that running outside gave her the perfect antidote for this. So, with a huge amount of courage (and I am sure a lot of nerves) she started RTR. It took a little while to get the word out but it quickly gained more and more followers. RTR is now over 3 years old and hosts over 100 groups, not just in the UK but worldwide- pretty incredible stuff!

    When starting RTR Evesham I not only wanted to set up a running group but also to form a community, a “clan”. When talking to Jess about her motivation she said something that stuck with me- ‘In the UK we used to have 2 strong communities that looked after and supported each other- the Church and the pub. With both of these now in decline many people feel that the community doesn’t exist and there isn’t that local support’- something which I would love RTR Evesham to help rebuild.

    RTR supports me personally on so many levels. Not only do I love running (or love how many calories it burns) I love the idea of creating a ‘community’. I lived in London for nearly 5 years and although I had a good job and a great group of girlfriends I would often suffer from intense loneliness and anxiety. Although London is a vibrant and busy city, with so much to offer and that sometimes can be overwhelming. Many people who live in London view it as a temporary place- a time in their life to progress their career or take an opportunity to earn a higher salary. Although understandable I think this often means people don’t start communities or take the time to invest as much- they don’t plan on sticking around so don’t make roots or connections. 

    “Your branches can only reach high if your roots go deep.” – Brian Logue

    RTR Evesham is all about roots and all about connections. We meet on a Monday evening and run 5km. We don’t record our pace or time and it isn’t a race. It is about devoting some time to your physical and mental wellbeing while (hopefully) enjoying a chat with someone. Our home is Cornmill Yard, a fantastic community Hub, whose values pretty much match RTRs. The Cornmill Yards’ vision is to create a home for the local community, offering great food and drink, as well as a space to hire for events and activities. 

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    The Little Beer Brewing Co.

    Little Beer Brewing Company started in early 2020 out of a love for beer, a frustration of what was currently available, and having a lot of spare time thanks to the pandemic! 

    The Love

    We’ve combined 12 years of homebrewing experience and 10 years of involvement in the beers, wines, and spirit industry, supplying ranges for some of the UK’s major grocery stores and dealing with producers across the world. Simply put, we love all things alcoholic! (To the correct, moderated level, of course.) 

    The evolution of beer has been fantastic to watch during this time, with some truly weird and wonderful concoctions popping up. (We’ve even tried a goat’s milk pilsner. Not kidding.) 

    However, because things have moved so fast, it’s left a lot of people behind. I remember taking my friend (a typical pub goer) to a large Craft beer tap room where he stood for 10 minutes wondering what on earth was going on with the menu. 

    “Surely you don’t want a beer to be hazy?” – “What the hell is a NEIPA?!” –and of course – “MILK STOUT? WHO PUTS MILK IN A BEER?” 

    If you’re not familiar with the craft beer world, the terminology and trends can be quite intimidating, and ultimately put people off trying new things. We want to change that. 

    We want to encourage your average Fosters drinker to try something new – while still creating beers that are awesome to those Craft Beer Aficionados.

    The Frustration 

    Anyone that’s into their Craft Beer will admit they have, at one point in their life, spent over £10.00 on a single bottle or can of beer. The amazing can design, quirky marketing, and high price means it MUST be good… right? 

    Not always.  

    We got so annoyed with being duped by big marketing and gorgeous can labels just to have a sub-par, mediocre beer inside – sometimes even an awful beer inside! At LBBC we spend our time focussing on the beer itself. We repeat the same recipe over and over, tweaking different elements each time; from grains and hops; to water profile; fermenting temperatures; timings and different strains of yeast. Only when we’re happy, we will release it for sale. 

    No crazy can designs. Just great beer.  

    The Spare Time The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone in one way or another. Luckily, we are safe and healthy and used our spare time to set up the small-batch nano brewing inside @The Collective. 

    We had a 3 x 8 metre room and really had to make the most of it. Using a tiered 3 step brewing system, 2 pressurised fermentation chambers, and a counter flow chiller that’s mounted on the ceiling, we have maximised our space for a very efficient system and process. Think if IKEA made breweries.  

    And so, the name fits quite well.

    Method Coffee Roasters

    At The Collective café, we exclusively use coffee beans from Method Coffee.

    Method Coffee Roasters are “proudly independent with a community focus” – which is why they’re a natural choice for The Collective. Community is at the root of the coffee, from their sourcing, roasting, and sharing, all the way to our brewing and serving it to our Evesham customers.

    Method Coffee Roasters is in Worcester, located under the railway arches on Cherry Tree Walk, which makes for a very cool building. We were very graciously invited to come and take a tour of their roastery and get a look at where our espresso comes from, before we got some intensive training on good coffee and how to make it. The production of coffee is a delicate, complicated, and long process. Thankfully, Mark started at the beginning for us.

    The coffees are sourced from all of the world, including Latin America, Indonesia, and East Africa, where they often take trips to go and meet the people behind the coffee; in an industry as big as coffee production, it’s great to see Method being conscientious, making personal connections, and bringing together the farmers and the consumers across the world.

    A coffee cherry. Photo from Method Coffee Roasters.

    The coffee begins as a little cherry – the stone in the center of the fruit are actually coffee beans. It is harvested, soaked, and the fruit removed. You’re left with a little green bean, and that’s what is sent to the coffee roasters.

    Behind the front café at Method is where they roast their own coffee, using a vintage Probat coffee roaster. The beans are roasted for different times depending on where they’re from and the kind of results they’re after. Some are roasted lighter, and some are a darker roast, which ends up getting different notes and flavours from the bean.

    (We use a blend called “Chucho” in our espresso machine. It’s described as “full bodied chocolate and citrus notes, good sweetness and a mellow acidity”).

    After we learned about where the beans came from, we had to put our knowledge to the test. We were taught the theory and application of the correct extraction time, and the consequences of over or under-extraction (of which I made both, and both tasted bad). Not to mention milk steaming, latte art, and a really good cold brew recipe, which we now serve at The Collective. Thank you to Dimi for your patience through many bubbly coffees before we got it right.

    Photo from Method Coffee Roasters.