THIS month I had the pleasure of meeting a really wonderful couple, Lucy and Stephen Briden-Kenny.

Stephen is from Liverpool, Lucy is a Yorkshire lass. For me they encapsulate perfectly what I believe is a growing trend in Malton; they visited Malton, liked what they saw and now they have moved to Malton.

Lucy and Stephen were renting in York and first experienced Malton while attending the Food Lovers Festival two years ago. They told me they had a superb time browsing the stalls and even cooked at Malton Cookery School with Andrew Pern. It was at this moment they first had the idea of moving to town.

“We wanted to be in the countryside,” Stephen said, “Without being too remote. We wanted country charm, but with a bit more going on, so we love the fact that a short drive from Malton and you’re in really beautiful wild country, but we’ve still got a great range of shops, restaurants and even a cinema on our doorstep in town. Also, Castle Howard is one of our favourite places on earth and now it’s just down the road.”

They point out that by moving to Malton and renting they are now paying half the price they did in York and they have a garden now too. Importantly, the money they save on rent can be enjoyed on what’s on offer locally.

“We’re paying less but we get more,” Lucy adds with obvious delight. “I can do all my food shopping in Malton and it’s just a short walk.”

It is clear that these two adore their food and are very knowledgeable about it too - but then it is Malton’s reputation as a food town that attracted them in the first place. Food shops, markets, festivals, restaurants and Talbot Yard Food Court are all part of the lifestyle choice they have made.

I like to think Lucy and Stephen are ahead of the curve, trendsetters really, because I am confident that the lifestyle they are now enjoying is something that more families all over Yorkshire are searching for. After all, the whole point of starting the food festival, markets and the cookery school was to give residents the pleasant lifestyle that makes living in a community like Malton so special.

Part of our plan for the next few years is to encourage more people back into the centre of Malton to live in and enjoy the beautiful Georgian and Victorian flats and houses. It’s about the charm of the buildings and the convenience of having shops, restaurants and events that you don’t even have to get in your car for.

Just to make this story even better and to demonstrate their foodie credentials, Lucy and Stephen are now looking to start up their own food business “Butter Bees of Malton”, which will offer hand rolled Yorkshire butter, churned from the finest Yorkshire milk. For me that is the definition of artisan, the definition of commitment and of passion. Lucy and Stephen, thank you for choosing Malton, I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us all.