Beloved Phoebe's Pantry to return to South Woodham Ferrers following deal with Council
By Piers Meyler - Local Democracy Reporter
15th Mar 2023 | Local News
A well-used mobile café, which garnered a petition of almost 3,000 signatures when it lost its right to operate in South Woodham Ferrers, will return next month.
Phoebe's Pantry had been based on the river at Marsh Farm Country Park for almost four years, until it had to move when Essex County Council retendered for catering at its country parks.
Five Star Catering Ltd was chosen to run mobile concessions at a number of Essex Country Parks following a council procurement process.
Since August, the owners of Phoebe's Pantry have been running their business from a pitch in Norsey Wood near Billericay.
But now the "little pink van" is returning to South Woodland Ferrers after an agreement with Chelmsford City Council was struck to allow it to operate from Compass Gardens from April 12.
In a social media post, Phoebe's Pantry said: "We are so excited to be able to share our news with you and take this opportunity to once again thank the amazing residents of South Woodham Ferrers and surrounding areas for your unfailing support over the last seven months since we sadly left our beautiful location at the riverside. You have certainly kept us going over these past few months."
However, there has been disappointment that they will be leaving their Norsey Wood pitch, where they have been operating since the summer at the permission of Basildon Council.
The owners added: "We would like to thank all our local customers who have frequented our little pink van in the woods sine we opened in August and supported us.
"Unfortunately, the limitations of siting a café within the boundaries of the Site of Special Scientific Interest have proved too difficult to overcome. The council have been extremely supportive and are reconsidering the future for a café setting in the wood.
"So it is with sadness that we announce that, for now at least, our last day at the woods will be March 26."