ENTERPRISE has got to be admired! At a time when village post offices and shops are closing here is one that is flourishing by being complemented with a small café and gift shop.

The new owners come with an excellent track record having previously run successful restaurants at Sawton and Sowerby. Their attention to detail and quality is evident.

There is ample on-street parking. A step into the premises is only a minor set back.

The menu is limited. There was no mention of scones, tea cakes and the like, but maybe we should have asked.

The soup was pepper, tomato and sweet potato (£2.95). Sadly, the tart of the day was not yet ready.

Alternatives from the light-lunch menu included sandwiches filled with home-baked ham; prosciutto mozzarella and sun-blushed tomato; smoked salmon with cream cheese or mature Cheddar with pickle, priced £3.95 to £4.25.

What had the chef in store? Smoked duck and bacon salad or an antipasto plate of cured meats and olives were maybe for another visit.

Ann’s immediate choice was for a hot chocolate (£2.25) which came decorated with cream, miniature coloured marshmallows and chocolate drops. While she was enjoying this, a hot brie and bacon ciabatta (£5.95) was being prepared.

This was the softest ciabatta Ann could remember having eaten. Because of its size, I was allowed to eat some as well. The salad was more of a leaf garnish, all of which disappeared.

I selected paté de campagne, toast and red-onion marmalade (£4.50). The freshly toasted brown bread went well with the paté. I surprised myself by really enjoying the onion marmalade.

A pot of tea provided two cups drunk from Bridgewater pottery which was used throughout our snack. This was just one of the many lines on display and which could be purchased.

We could not resist sharing a large meringue with fresh cream and red currants; chewy but delicious.

During our visit, a number of people called in for a sandwich or pie. Other customers were buying vegetables as well as take-away food. But we only saw one customer buying the advertised cheese and marmite loaf. Maybe this is an acquired taste.

Helperby is not on a main route but anyone passing should find this venue a haven for home-baked bread, cakes and food prepared from local produce.