It’s a wet Wednesday morning, one of those days where the sky meets the land and the spray from wagons on the A590 makes driving tricky. It’s a minute to nine when we reach our destination, Bakehouse Born and Bread. Five tables are already taken. By ten past it’s full and a queue has formed.

It’s safe to venture to owners Kirsty Postlethwaite and Chris Small that they might be rather pleased with how things are going just two weeks into their new café at Greenodd. On a trading estate. Opposite a plant hire company. On a wet Wednesday.

Its popularity says a lot more about their hospitality and food than it does about the location, of course. On the face of it, a business park next to a dual carriageway wouldn’t be the obvious choice for a trendy café. And yet it seems to be part of a mini trend. There’s More? bakery, which has a café on the front of its production unit at Staveley, and Method, on a busy business park near Homebase in Kendal. The point about these venues is that once inside drinking your cappuccino, diving into your eggs and avocado and chatting to the friendly staff, the outside surroundings become irrelevant.

Coupled with the stylish interior of Bakehouse, it’s all about what’s happening inside. You could be in the heart of a European city or a bustling town centre or a business park in south Cumbria, it makes no odds. We’re calling it ‘industrial estate chic’ and here, at least, it’s working very well.

There are lots of reasons why they chose it. It’s a large unit – previously the showroom and workshop of the Rusland Movement – and there is plenty of free parking. As Kirsty says: “We couldn’t have got this size of space in a town or city, we couldn’t have afforded it.” As an empty, rectangular box, it also offered a blank canvas for them to create their business exactly as they want it.

Most importantly, however, it keeps them in Greenodd, where they live and where their earlier, smaller village bakery was a destination in its own right.

Kirsty grew up in the village where the bakery had existed for as long as she can remember. When she was 19, she spent 18 months in Canada working in cafes and pizzerias, and she studied catering at Kendal College where her teacher was French. Having specialised as a pastry chef, she worked at The Samling and the Wilson Arms, at Torver, where she also started a deli.

When Greenodd village bakery came up for sale in 2014, she went along to the auction in Ulverston and bought it. “I had been working towards having my own place for a few years,” says Kirsty. “We started by trying to keep the bakery as it was with bread, cakes and pies with a few tables for coffee. We didn’t want to go too ‘out there’.

“It’s always been an asset to the village and was very traditional. I was a bit cautious about breaking out of that, but it wasn’t really working for us. Because we live upstairs it was almost like having a café in your living room.”

Chris joined in their second year. Originally from Woking, in Surrey, a job at Grizedale Forest centre café brought him to Cumbria, the easier pace of life and access to the outdoors keeping him here. He also worked at the Wilson Arms and, most recently, for catering equipment company CaterKwick, in Ulverston, which gave him useful insight into the investment needed for the new business.

“By the second year, we were thinking that we needed to change and do what we wanted to do. It took off from there,” explains Chris, who is the bread-maker. They recruited another member of staff, began to offer specialist cakes and patisserie, sandwiches and breakfasts with a sit-in and takeaway menu.

They would always be limited by the size of the tiny shop, however. “We had the potential to scale up quite quickly but we didn’t want to move out of Greenodd,” says Chris. Their friend, Tom Prestwich, owner of Red Bank Coffee Roasters, had heard about the former Rusland Movement unit. They got the keys in March, days before the country went into lockdown.

“Our plan had been to do it up and be open for the Easter weekend,” says Chris. Despite the uncertainty of lockdown, they had momentum and enthusiasm behind them and pressed on regardless, doing a lot of the work themselves in the absence of workmen.

“We still managed to open at Easter but not in the way we expected,” says Chris. “We really wanted to do something and just thought what would work, what would people want and how could we do it.”

They opted for a click and collect drive-thru. Kirsty explains: “People would order then drive up. We had their number plates on our tickets so we could seem them arrive then we’d go out, put the bag on the floor and they would get out of their car to collect it.”

Chris adds: “It was nice to be able to give people something when everywhere was closed and during a not very nice time. People did appreciate it and we were supported by local suppliers like Crakeside Meat.”

That’s all in the past now they are fully open, from 9am-3.30 for breakfast, brunch, lunch and cakes, and evenings for street food and burger nights. With its international flavour, the daytime menu offers something for everyone: the New York-style Reuben sandwich with pastrami and loaded hash browns, Asian lamb paratha, Euro deli salami and smoked cheese and Scandi salmon smørrebrød. Given their proximity to the coast, there is also potted shrimp and samphire in there.

“The menu is based around the products we bake here, muffins, crumpets, sourdough. We try not to put too much of a label on it but there’s definitely a brunch kind of vibe,” says Kirsty.

Chris adds: “We wanted to do evenings in a year or two but because of lockdown we were kind of forced into doing it quicker and now it’s grown really fast.”

They took part in Eat Out to Help Out and offered BYOB in the evenings whilst waiting for their own alcohol licence to be approved.

For both food and décor inspiration, before lockdown Kirsty and Chris headed off on a foodie trip to Copenhagen, in particular to Hart Bageri, co-founded by British baker Richard Hart, and artisan bakery-café Mirabelle.

The interior at Greenhodd has an urban, industrial feel but is softened with comfortable furniture, muted lighting and indoor plants while the forest green backdrop is livened up with pops of gold.

“I was very, very fixed on the colour,” says Kirsty. The counter came from an old cedar tree from the garden of fellow café owner Lucy Nelson in Grasmere; the timber and metal tables were made by Craig Wheeler of Idle Fabrications, in Windermere.

Window security grates, along with branches from the forest, have been cleverly put to use cleverly as filament lighting and plant chandeliers.

The kitchen, too, provided a blank canvas. “I have never been in a kitchen like it,” beams Kirsty. “Deliveries aren’t a problem at all and there’s space to wheel trolleys around which is unheard of. It’s such a luxury having a proper kitchen.”

Along with Chris on bread and Kirsty on cakes, there are daytime chefs Stuart Smith and Greg Stewart, with Jake Parker and Tom Robinson on evenings. Ben McDougall supports Kirsty in patisserie and Adam Seward is pieman.

“They have a lot of freedom. Because we are both chefs it’s quite easy for us to let the reins go and let them try what they want and what they’re inspired to do. We feel we can let go of that creative control,” Kirsty explains.

Partly due to their location, the majority of customers are local, from Ulverston, Barrow, Broughton and Coniston. As word gets around, however, they are sure to draw from further afield, becoming a destination in their own right.

They already look back at their old shop in wonder as to how they managed in such a small space. Plans for a big opening are on hold, and for now they are content with what they have achieved, remarkably, this summer.

Chris says: “The business has now come up to where we had it in our heads.”

“And we will have a big party at some point,” adds Kirsty.

• Bakehouse Born & Bread, open Tuesday-Saturday.