Humble Pie, Fawcett and Guy, back in business after 13-year break

Elizabeth Fawcett (left) and Betty Guy (right) on opening day of the new deli Humble Pie in Askrigg. Photo by Anita Watson

By Betsy Everett

In 2004, Elizabeth Guy closed the door on the deli and fresh food shop she had built up from scratch for what she thought would be the last time.

When she’d opened Humble Pie in Askrigg five years earlier her daughters were just 10 months, two and seven.

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“I must have been mad!” she says, looking back on those years of hard slog, front of house and behind the scenes.

Now, 13 years later, with the same sign, the same ethos – fresh, home-cooked, delicious food using local suppliers – and grown up daughters ready to lend a hand, Elizabeth is back in business.

‘Humble Pie, Fawcett and Guy’, is the slogan for the reborn venture, reflecting her change of name since marrying local farmer Bruce Fawcett, and incorporating her new business partner, “baby” Betty Guy, now 18.

Elizabeth and her assistant, Jill Metcalfe, cooked for 17 hours on the day before the official opening, from six in the morning to 11 at night, while Betty put the finishing touches to the decor she herself had designed: from reupholstering chairs, to choosing the paint, the furnishings and many of the accessories.

Among them is a square, black-faced clock with gold roman numerals, inscribed with their Humble Pie slogan, a gift from a local friend and well-wisher. A professional artist, meanwhile, who remembered the original shop, painted a special watercolour to welcome the new venture.

“The support we’ve had has been amazing. We could not have had a better day,” said Elizabeth, who formerly worked as an award-winning estate agent with local firm, Hoppers, of Hawes and Leyburn.

On hand to help on the day were daughters Emilie and Susie, and husband Bruce with (being a Yorkshire farmer) a screwdriver rather than an apron, installing hooks and putting the sign over the door. 

“It’s the original sign from the first shop and it was made by Brian Guy who was Betty’s granddad,” said Elizabeth. “It’s been in my kitchen for the past 13 years just waiting for this day. All it needed was a coat of varnish and it’s as good as new.”

First customer on the opening day was the Revd Dave Clark, vicar of the four churches of the Upper Wensleydale benefice, including St Oswald’s, Askrigg, where Elizabeth is churchwarden.

Betty serves first customer, the Revd Dave Clark. Photo by Anita Watson.

“What a fantastic place it is. It’s lovely to see so many people supporting it, and long may that continue” he said.

Shop hours will be Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 5pm, and Elizabeth and Betty will be offering a wide range of home-cooked, takeaway meals, cakes, tray bakes, quiches and salads, and packed lunches. They will also serve coffee, tea and cakes on the premises. Meat is from Hammonds of Bainbridge, milk from Allen Kirkbride of Townhead Farm, cheeses from the Wensleydale Creamery, Wensleydale Ice Cream from Adrian and Gill Harrison, of Thornton Rust, and jams and chutneys from Raydale preserves at Stalling Busk.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic range of suppliers on our doorstep. We know they supply top quality products in which we and our customers can have total confidence,” said Elizabeth.

Susie Guy arranging the display of homemade fayre on opening day of new village deli, Humble Pie of Askrigg. Photo by Anita Watson