“I’m not a baker,” laughs Harvey Allen as we chat about the opening of his retail store and café, Harvey & Co, at Rendlesham’s Base Business Park.

The former partner in Pinney’s, and one of the original founders of Honey + Harvey, is often mistaken for being the brains behind the bread. But, in fact, the man leading the engine room is Carl Brennan. Former head baker at Pump Street (and, confusingly, no relation to owners Jo and Chris), Carl has carved out a rather special place in people’s hearts with his creations under the Harvey & Co banner, alongside a team that, Harvey says, exudes enthusiasm and “great banter”.

In a short space of time the fledgling business has managed to attract over 65 wholesale customers. You may have bought Harvey & Co bread at Fork in Hadleigh, Leo’s Deli in Framlingham, or The Grundisburgh Dog Deli. Perhaps you’ve tucked into a slice at Milk Shed in Sproughton, or Nourish in Newbourne.

And now you can now buy Harvey & Co’s raft of products, alongside very good coffee, pastries, gourmet toasties and pizza at the Rendlesham site.

“It’s going very well so far,” says Harvey of the venture, which has been a long time coming, and is still growing, organically, week by week.

Harvey’s daughter Imogen has been helping to front the opening while she’s back from university in Leeds. “And she’s doing a great job,” Harvey adds. “It’s really fun at the moment. It’s more like a pop-up. Autumn is when we’ll look at bringing in more indoor seating, pushing the retail counter back.”

Painted in the brand’s signature black and magenta scheme, Harvey & Co operates as a store for click and collect customers, a visible shop window for the bakery (which has up until now been completely wholesale) and a takeaway café, with four benches outside and grassy expanses for picnics nearby on the base.

“It’s laid back, and evolving all the time,” says Harvey. “We’re making sourdough toasties, sourdough Romana pizzas a couple of days a week which we bake in big trays and slice up. There are breakfast muffins. Today we’ve got peanut butter cookies. Then we’re looking at adding some kinds of salad boxes, and savoury brioche morning buns, baked in big muffin tins with bacon, an egg cracked on top and a bit of bacon jam.

“We’re not about making lots and lots of different things and spreading ourselves too thin. I want us to make, perhaps, 10 things at a time and do them really really well.

“We’ll have special days for things, so we might do, for example, ‘cruffin Thursdays’ or ‘doughnut day’ to keep the offering really fresh.

“Something we’re working on, which you won’t see around here, is kouign-amann [a type of tart originating in Brittany] made with our pastry offcuts. We can take seasonal fruit from High House Fruit Farm up the road and put that through them, or play about with fillings like ham and gruyere cheese. That’s a simple product we could change all the time.

“And our pastry chef, Becky, will work on adding some cakes, like carrot and walnut or lemon and poppyseed, which we can slice to order.”

The café/shop is open 7.30am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 12noon on Saturdays. Pop by to pick up a toastie filled with ham and cheese, roasted vegetables, vegan pesto and vegan mozzarella, chorizo, serrano ham, sun blushed tomatoes, mozzarella and garlic aioli, or mozzarella, basil and tomato.

Alongside any specials of the day, there are always puffy, golden croissants, pain aux raisin, pain au chocolat and almond croissants, made with “top shelf” French butter.

“Lucy is making some incredible sourdough focaccia and pitta breads as well, so we may have them on the counter at weekends,” Harvey adds.

Coffee is sourced from Rob at Butterworths in Bury St Edmunds. “It’s a four-bean blend,” says Harvey. “It’s fantastic. Our new machine is extracting an incredible espresso. Really really good. People have been so complimentary about it.”

There’s a range of iced coffees and chocolates too – and, coming soon, kombucha from neighbour LA Brewery.

Of course, the ‘bread and butter’ at the heart of Harvey & Co are Carl and the team’s phenomenal loaves.

“Woodbridge White is the star,” says Harvey. “It’s a white sourdough made with organic Marriage’s flour. It’s got a lovely crumb. Not too dense, with a nice developed crust and a good tang. People come back for it time and time again saying it’s their favourite.

“Then there’s the Tide Mill Tang. For that we use proper stoneground flour, grown over in Halesworth, and milled at Tide Mill in Woodbridge – one of the oldest working tide mills in Europe. It’s a wonderful, wonderful loaf with an incredible flavour. It's got a slight tang and a little tackiness inside that works so well toasted with eggs or smoked salmon or roll mops.”

A Sutton Seeded version of the Woodbridge White is loaded with a blend of seeds mixed specially for Harvey & Co by Munchy Seeds.

And Harvey says they’re selling more and more of their French-style baguettes – particularly at weekends.

“Of course, we also have the traditional tinned breads too. Like farmhouse white and granary, and sandwich loaves we can slice on request. And we’re playing around with a 100% rye at the moment.

“We’ve got so many ideas and plans in the pipeline, including getting an alcohol licence, and doing pop-up pizza evenings, but (like the bread) we’re taking it slow."

Keep an eye on the Harvey & Co Instagram account for details of special bakes and events. There’s loads of free parking at the site, and plenty of space for outside dining.

Harvey & Co will also be at this year’s Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival.