Our friendly team is looking forward to welcoming you to the Guardhouse

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We are delighted to have welcomed several fabulous people into our team already this season. We are still open to applications for a couple more people, in particular those with availability through June, September and October, and for an experienced chef.

Amy

Amy

Chef

Amy has worked with us since 2016. During her time here she decided it was time for a challenge, shortly after starting she got training in the kitchen and became a great chef. Except from being a fast learner and a friendly team member, she always enjoys a laugh and singing along with the music when closing the cafe at the end of the day.

Amy thinks she wants to become a teacher, she will soon be going down to work part time at the cafe to follow her dreams and study History and English.

Laila

Laila

Barista

Laila joined our team in the middle of the summer 2019. She learnt fast how to make beautiful coffees and is now one of our baristas. She also has a great handwriting which you can see on the specials board!

Laila loves travelling Europe in her van with her boyfriend, they are planning on going as often as they can. Whilst they were in Spain earlier in 2019, they fell in love with a 5 weeks old rescued street dog and ended up bringing her home with them.

Jackie

Jackie

Front of House,Manager

Jackie started working with us in the beginning of summer 2019. You will usually find her front of house making everyone feel welcome and happily chatting to our customers with her charming Midlands accent. She enjoys going out for walks with her grumpy old dog!

Tom

Tom

Chef

Tom is one of our new chefs this year. He joined us just after Christmas, perfectly in time to cover Vicky’s maternity leave and be well trained an experienced by the time the busy season starts in the spring. He is a fabulous, warm, friendly guy and we feel very lucky to have him in the team!

Tom’s great passions are skateboarding and photography, and he has a business plan to combine these, which also involves moving to Barcelona! We love his creativity and passion for life and look forward to our customers getting to know him.

Jo

Jo

Barista

Jo joined us in 2017 but first worked in the Guardhouse over 25 years ago, well before the modern extension. She was a school girl and helped Marjorie at the weekends. Do you remember the amazing apple cake Marjorie was famous for?

After a career in London, Jo and her husband moved back to Brixham to raise their family. Jo found a part-time job with us and was promoted to Head Barista at the start of 2019. She is passionate and determined in her mission to bring fantastic drinks to all our customers!

Outside of work Jo loves to make unusually-decorated cakes. Some of them are like nothing we have ever seen. No doubt Piper is in store for some wonderful birthday cakes as she grows up!

Emily

Emily

Chef

Emily is from New Jersey and moved over to the UK in 2016 after meeting and marrying Aaron (at the time they met, he was in the navy, but she maintains that his uniform didn’t make a difference…).

She loves living in Brixham and taking coastal walks, but says that some things just aren’t the same in the UK, in particular Macaroni Cheese just doesn’t have the same synthetic taste.

She joined us in 2017 and over the next 12 months she turned her passion for food into her job, becoming one of our wonderful chefs. However in 2019 she will be taking a break as she and Aaron will be having a baby boy, the third cafe baby of the year!

 

Stacey

Stacey

Chef, Manager

Stacey is our Head Chef. She joined us in 2018 after working in a number of local restaurants. She is passionate about food, a great cook, and a fantastic leader for our kitchen team. As head chef she’s in charge of every aspect of the kitchen, from our supplier relationships to training new chefs, to developing the menus for our themed evenings and the specials board. Luckily we have a great team of chefs who give her a lot of help!

Alex

Alex

Senior Manager

Alex moved down to Brixham with Lucy in 2014; previously they were based in Milton Keynes (but he is really a northerner). He enjoys wearing shorts every day and being able to walk along the coast path, and strangely doesn’t miss the roundabouts and concrete cows.

Alex graduated as a chemical engineer and worked for seven years as an improvement consultant helping mostly industrial companies to make their processes faster, more efficient or less wasteful. This took him to varied locations around the UK, Australia, Germany, Holland and Belgium with clients ranging from chemical plants to hospitals. With Lucy he decided to completely change his lifestyle by moving down to Devon and being based in the same place each week. The Guardhouse offered the perfect opportunity at the right time.

In the café Alex is responsible for keeping out of everyone’s way as much as possible so that they can get on with their amazing work without him causing trouble. He has an unhealthy love of spreadsheets. 

In 2017 baby Rosalie came along, and in 2019 she was joined by Matilda. Strangely Alex doesn’t seem to get much time to himself any more.

Brenda

Brenda

Senior Manager

Brenda joined our team in 2014 and quickly became our resident coffee expert! She pioneered our focus on the quality and consistency of all of our hot drinks – her favourite, like many of our team, being a perfect flat white. In this capacity she has trained and inspired our barista team for several years now; and as a result she is often found shaking by lunchtime due to caffeine overload! 

In the years she was worked with us, Brenda has been promoted from barista to one of our two senior managers. She has a wonderful way of motivating and training our team and a constant desire to fix problems and make things better.

Brenda has spent most of her life in Brixham and with her partner Chris has three children.

Diane

Diane

Senior Manager

Diane started working at the Guardhouse in spring 2014. Perhaps the friendliest and kindest person in the world, it is hard to imagine why she is known as ‘Dragon Lady’.

Despite taking the job on the condition that she didn’t have to cook, Diane is adept in the kitchen and is responsible for introducing our homemade American pancakes and Paella evenings. Her passion for quality and consistency requires occasional sampling of cake and (especially) checking that the wine is not corked.

Sometimes she gets to enjoy her tea while it is still hot.

For many years Diane worked on long-haul British Airways flights and it is rare to find a country she has not visited. She has since  tried a wide range of careers, including running a sandwich van and a hotel, teaching, and was responsible for importing Ugg Boots to the UK for the first time! She lives in Brixham but travels a lot, often chasing her two delightful daughters across the world on their travels.

 

Lucy

Lucy

Manager

ucy moved to Brixham in 2014 when she and Alex wanted a change of life and to spend more time together. After studying German and Italian at university she worked for several years in Italy and the Alps in jobs involving walking, skiing and cooking. The most recent role involved taking groups on incredible walking tours around various parts of Italy. Her favourite spots are Sicily, where she studied for a while and where the rugged scenery is unspoiled by tourism, and the Dolomites where she first met Alex in 2010.

Lucy was born and grew up in Northern Scotland on the side of a sea loch. The local community was so sparsely populated that there were only 12 children in her entire primary school!

Her passion for food developed through her childhood and eating plenty of fresh fish, scallops and oysters surely played a part. When travelling abroad she learned a lot about the regional food in Italy and always loves to experiment with new flavours and ingredients. She is one of the people who always chooses the item off the menu which she has never heard of, just in case it is the best thing ever.

Since 2017 Lucy has played a less visible role at the Guardhouse, as her daughters Rosalie and Matilda arrived. However she still plays an important role behind the scenes and along with head chef Stacey she is the driving force behind our food, from the local and seasonal specials board to the themed evenings.

Sadly Covid-19 prevented us from getting a photo of our whole team in 2020, but here are a few photos from previous years’ team building activities:

Passionate about Food (move from menus)

Our food philosophy begins with owner Lucy, a true lover of food! Lucy grew up in remote Northwest Scotland in an idyllic and fairly self-sufficient lifestyle. Her early years are full of memories of hand-dived scallops, oysters and mackerel from the loch outside her childhood home, home-grown vegetables and even roadkill deer, expertly butchered by her father.

For many years before moving to Devon, Lucy’s passion for food and travel led her to jobs such as cooking in Scottish holiday houses, chalet hosting in the Alps, and finally leading walking & eating tours all over Italy.

When she and Alex took over at the Guardhouse in 2014, Lucy was determined to make the food something really special. Her philosophy of Seasonal, Local and Unusual food lies at the heart of all of our breakfast and lunch specials. At the same time we recognise that a lot of customers want more traditional cafe fayre – a bacon sandwich is still our top seller! So we combine the more adventurous specials menus with plenty of cafe favourites, whilst still making sure that these are as good as we can possibly make them.

It’s certainly not all about Lucy though. Over the years our kitchen team has grown into a wonderful, skilled group of chefs who are connected by a love of food. Each one brings their own experiences and inspirations – Emily’s Italian grandmother, Ashley’s love of curries, Sam’s baking abilities. The team as a whole is far more than the sum of their parts and, guided by head chef Stacey, deliver consistently high-quality home-made food which we hope is better than our customers expect from a nature reserve cafe.