Popular café to stay in the family as new owners take it on

Joanne and Ryan White have taken the reins at The Old Dairy, in Hungate, Beccles.

Joanne and Ryan White have taken the reins at The Old Dairy, in Hungate, Beccles. - Credit: The Old Dairy

A Beccles couple are out to defy the odds after taking the reins at a popular family-run café. 

For more than 15 years, Ronie's Café has become a staple in the town, with owner and operator Jackie Ronie welcoming countless customers over the years.

Now, after a lifelong career in the food and hospitality industry, she has passed the torch to a second generation of restauranteurs - her son and daughter-in-law.

Joanne and Ryan White have taken the reins at The Old Dairy, in Hungate, Beccles.

Joanne and Ryan White have taken the reins at The Old Dairy, in Hungate, Beccles. - Credit: The Old Dairy

Undeterred by the global pandemic, self-proclaimed "foodies" Ryan and Joanne White have now opened the doors to the Old Dairy and Restaurant on Hungate.

Mr White, whose family has lived in Beccles for generations, said it was the "perfect opportunity" to pursue their dream of being restaurant owners, and an ideal solution to keep the popular café open.


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He said: "People thought we were mad launching a restaurant business in the middle of a pandemic, but we want to continue providing a takeaway service to the people of Beccles and, as we know there is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine roll out, we thought there wasn't a better time.

"Our gourmet burger takeaway has been a hit and it gets fully booked every weekend."

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The parents-of-two are aiming to celebrate the history of the area through their cuisine, and have collaborated with the Beccles Museum and Historical Society to learn more about the site's past.

With the menu offering a "blend of familiar and original dishes", the café will honour past traditions with a modern twist, with food made daily from scratch, while seasonal ingredients are sourced by local suppliers.

Have a night off from cooking and pick up a family takeaway meal from the Old Dairy - handmade pies, sausage & mash, mac...

Posted by The Old Dairy Beccles - Ronie's on Thursday, 21 January 2021

The couple have also renamed the café to pay homage to the building's past as a grocery and dairy, previously part of Buckenham Dairy until opening as Ronie's Café in 2003.

The Old Dairy Restaurant and Café, on Hungate, Beccles, which was formerly Ronie's Café.

The Old Dairy Restaurant and Café, on Hungate, Beccles, which was formerly Ronie's Café. - Credit: The Old Dairy

The Old Dairy is open for takeaway throughout the third national lockdown, with safety measures in place to protect staff and customers.

They have also been delivering free hot meals to local vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Ryan White at The Old Dairy in Beccles.

Ryan White at The Old Dairy in Beccles. - Credit: The Old Dairy

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