Artisan bakery opens its doors in Langley Mill

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An artisan baker and butcher has opened for business in Langley Mill - in the same shop her dad occupied 50 years ago.

Roma Bothamley cut the ribbon at Basilia on Cromford Road, on Thursday, after spending months, and around £80,000, turning the premises into a stylish eatery and seller of speciality foods.

But the move is also a homecoming for Roma, 53, of Matlock - as she was also born and christened in the building.

Now the woman who made a name through popular eatery Fresh Basil, in Belper , says her new challenge could kick off an independent trading revolution in Langley Mill.

She said: “Everyone has said to me, ‘why Langley Mill’? and my response has always been - ‘why not’!

“I think the place is on the up, I really do. It is a fabulous place to walk along the canal.

“The beauty of independent traders is they really enhance a community.”

Basilia, which Roma has describes as selling ‘contemporary food fashions, alongside traditional food stuffs’ is now open from 8.45am until 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday.

A plethora of cured and cooked meats, pastries and homemade cakes from local bakers are available at the store, which has a sheltered outdoor area. It is also open for eat-in or takeaway lunches and hot drinks.

Roma’s father Basil, now deceased, opened up a ‘provisions’ shop in the same Cromford Road building after serving in the RAF in World War Two.

He married Iris, who ran a poulterers and greengrocers next door in 1957, and the couple lived above his shop, then called Basil’s.

Roma has little memory of living there, as the family moved out of Langley Mill in 1962 - but says they regularly returned to the once bustling industrial village to visit friends and family.

One such friend was Arthur Cope, of Holmes Close.

The sprightly 85-year-old has been helping Roma and Tim renovate the former model shop, and remembers dropping in to see Basil when the family ran the store 50 years ago.

At a busy opening day he said: “It’s great to see it like this again.

“When ‘Baz’ ran it he sold everything.

“I used to do a hard day’s work in the motor trade and come down here to see him- then we would go for a drink.

“Everytime I come in here the memories come flooding. Sometimes I wonder if Baz is up there looking down on us!”

Roma and Tim are hoping to continue with the success Fresh Basil had in Belper when it opened in 2005. The artisan eatery on Strutt Street is now under new owners.

For more information on Basilia head to its Facebook site http://www.facebook.com/BasiliaLangleyMill.