“UPPING the game a bit” is what we can now expect on the menu at Shepherds Parlour in Hay-on-Wye along with the Lebanese Iced coffee and fabulous sandwiches.

For as long as most people can remember Juliet Noble (of Shepherds sheep’s milk ice cream renown) has been the behind-the-scenes manager and owner of this popular landmark ice cream parlour and cafe in the Border town.

The cafe part of the business is under new ownership and proprietor Jess Hope-Jones has a whole foodie back story from which to draw. “My many roads along my life have lead to this,” she said. From her first job in a coffee chop in Ealing to a Mexican restaurant in London’s Westbourne Grove where she was allowed to get involved in the cooking, Jess has learned the principles of service from some masters of their trade and it was with some excitement that she contacted one of them to tell them of her newest venture.

“It’s all about showmanship and coffee,” she said. “We’re very lucky to have the amazing producers we have around here, I just want to be able to throw them altogether!”

Some of those producers are literally family with Jess’s Mum growing some of the fruit and vegetables used on the menu and her sister responsible for the amazing cakes.

“Everybody inputs ideas,” Jess said.

Locals will recognise her face from the popular soup stall at Hay market which she set up and ran 18 months ago. She admits it was a great way to get to know the foodie scene in Hay from the grass roots as many stall holders exchange goods and information.

“It was a nice way in to meeting people and gauging what was the food scene in Hay while filling a gap in the offering.”

The focus for the future of Shepherds, which will essentially stay the same, is food.

“Juliet brings in all the flavours of ice-cream we could hope for,” Jess said. The sale enables Juliet and partner Martin Orbach to focus on the ice-cream and the events side of the business.

“Everybody gets to do a bit more of what they love,” Jess said. “It’s a happy transfer.”

On the pulse of the increase in veganism Jess has already started to provide more options on the menu, which also includes on the meat side the inclusion of fine hams from Hay Charcuterie.

“Shepherds offers an amazing quality product in a nice, ethical way and I’m very proud to be able to carry that on,” Jess said.

During Hay Festival Shepherds will be open for evening food from 5.30-8 over the two weekends (Friday-Sunday).