messing around on the river

Cannell’s by the River has turned into a destination shop and café for those travelling on the Norfolk Broads. Located in Reedham, on the River Yare, Cannell’s by the River offers visitors a true taste of East Anglia while they enjoy their floating holiday, messing around on the river. Samantha Mattocks reports on the rustic charm that is Cannell’s by the River.

Cannell’s by the River is the second store owned by Steve Crisp, the first being Cannell’s Farm Produce in Chedgrave. “I always wanted a second premises,” says Steve. “I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in, and I knew that if I could find the right location, then everything would come together – and here I am.”

Steve has always had a love of the Norfolk Broads and has his own boat he goes out on. When he discovered that there was an empty shop in Reedham, he jumped at the chance to create his own shop by the water he loves so much. “I got the keys in April 2021 and opened the following month,” he explains. “I gave myself two weeks to turn the space around, and I am happy with what we offer here today. Cannell’s by the River has become a destination spot for many. With my fiancée, Mandy, we plan to grow the business together, maybe even adding a possible additional premises in the future.”

Full of rustic charm, Cannell’s by the River is a cross between a farm shop, a deli, and a café, seating 22 people inside and out. “We are the first stop on the Broads between Great Yarmouth and Norwich, so people stop here,” Steve continues. “We stock such a great range of items, as well as hot drinks and food, that people not only stop on their way to Norwich but also on the way back.”

Around 90% of the produce sold in Cannell’s by the River comes from Norfolk and Suffolk, with considered inclusions comprising Lincolnshire Poacher cheeses, both smoked and unsmoked. “I went there during the pandemic to have a look,” says Steve. “To see what they do, to see the cattle, and then how they produce the cheeses, was fantastic. Lincoln isn’t that far away, and it sells well in the shop.”

Other items include a breath-taking array of local gins, rums, and whiskeys – including Steve’s own ‘Heart & Soul’ gin, produced by Black Shuck Distillery. “I always put my heart and soul into everything I do, so it made sense to create my own gin with the same name. I work closely with many producers, and Black Shuck made two excellent gins for me – one orange based and one with raspberries and almond. I love them both! Cannell’s by the River now has an alcohol license, so people can enjoy a local beer, wine, or gin and tonic with their lunch, as well as stocking up supplies to take home or out on the river.”

Lunch offerings include baguettes with homemade coleslaw, homemade quiche, and other savouries, as well as jacket potatoes and daily special such as a charcuterie board with cured meats, cheeses, and deli items. “We also offer breakfast, such as eggs benedict or royale, plus fresh sardines on toast – they are popular! In addition, we sell cakes from Harris & James, which are incredibly popular, as is their gelato.” Harris & James gelato, which comes in a host of flavours, is available to take away in a tub or to buy as a fresh ice and enjoy while sat by the river. 

One new addition to Cannell’s by the River that Steve is particularly excited about is a coffee roaster. “I am good friends with Give it Some Beans coffee, and they have recently finished trading,” he says. “They used to make my own Cannell’s coffee blend, so it seemed the natural thing for me to buy their roaster and continue to do this myself. It also smells amazing!”

Steve is excited to share this coffee roasting experience with visitors, starting with the green coffee beans and ending up with a bag of ground coffee that they can take home and enjoy. “Cannell’s has a three-bean blend,” Steve continues. “I love that people can come to Cannell’s by the River and not only drink a lovely cup of coffee but learn about the processes involved in making it.

“I came here intending to open a farm shop, and I am so happy with what I have created with Cannell’s by the River. There is a wonderful sense of community here, with the boaters who stop by as well as locals who come down for a coffee, cake, or ice cream. I love that so much of what we do is local, and everything that people eat is available to buy in the shop. When people stop here who are using the Broads, I recommend places for them to go and they in turn recommend us to those going down the river. It really is a wonderful thing.”

With the height of summer now fully upon us, Cannell’s by the River is the place to be, somewhere you can pause for a while, slow down, and let the world go past you at river pace. All while cooling down with a Harris & James gelato and enjoying a freshly roasted cup of Cannell’s coffee. 

  • Cannell’s by the River is open seven days a week from 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 4pm on a Sunday. Find out more at
  • www.cannellsfarmproduce.co.uk

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