The Herb Garden Café was set up by Sally Bramhall in 2007 after taking retirement from the teaching profession. Starting with the ethos of providing high quality and varied home cooked food, the café has evolved into an environment which has many of the elements of a community hub. Over the years Sally has built up the café into a thriving venue which is popular with both local people and tourists, including those using the Heart of Wales Line to visit the town.

The café is used by many community groups for meetings. These include Llandrindod Transition Group, Fairtrade, and The Red Kite Credit Union, who also use the café as a collection and information point. The local “stitch and bitch” group meet here, and the Herb Garden has also hosted the local repair café. The café also supplies outside catering for meetings of PAVO, Care and Repair, Mind, the Doctors, and the Red Cross.

When Sally decided that she wanted to retire, and could not find a buyer for the business, a group of staff and patrons met to see if it was possible to keep the café going by forming it into a Social Enterprise. This group of people eventually became the Transitional Management Committee for the Herb Garden Community Café, which has been registered as a Community Benefit Society.

The Transitional Management Committee

The committee is made up of the following people:

Dorienne Robinson

Dorienne is the Chair of the TMC. Dorienne has an MSc in advanced environmental and energy studies, is a qualified independent Therapist, Managing Director of Crooked Pool logs, is passionate about food and is a proactive vegan chef at the Herb Garden Café.

In the light of current economic and climate change challenges, we need a strong and resilient community, and the Herb Garden Cafe can be instrumental in this.

Pat Howard

Pat is the secretary of the TMC. Pat has a PhD in Corporate Planning, and has taught Maths, Business studies and Accounts at Coleg Powys. She was a bookkeeper for her husband’s business, ran and owned a café (Pat’s Pantry), and has worked in the Herb Garden Café for 9 years, with duties varying from chef, to washing up, to bookkeeping.

The Herb Garden Café contributes so much to life in Llandrindod Wells, we must fight to keep it!

Sarah Palmer

Sarah studied home economics and has worked in the catering industry for the past 14 years. She trained under 3 different chefs before becoming head chef and acting manager at the Herb
Garden Café. Sarah has in the past founded and run a circus workshop for children and also worked with adults with learning difficulties.

The Herb Garden gives me the freedom to be a creative chef in a friendly environment.

Paul Jays

Paul has a background in the family business and a degree in Economics and Social Science. He has held senior management positions in Adult Social Services and the Department of Health and
Northern Ireland Health and Social care commissioning board. Paul has been vice chair of a housing guidance group and is a trained mediator.

I value the Herb Garden for good food and good conversation!

Penny Nicholson

Penny is a qualified solicitor specialising in children law, currently on contract to the Falkland Islands Government. She chairs the steering board for work on child protection in the
British Overseas Territories. She has previously had careers in the police and the charitable sector. She enjoys performing music, often to raise money for various charitable purposes.

Sally’s vision must be allowed to live on.