Meet the team that keep The Balloon Tree going...

Matthew Machin

Co-founder and Managing Director

One of the founding members of The Balloon Tree, Matthew has grown (pun intended) the business to how it stands today. The Machin family have been farming the land The Balloon Tree sits on for over 35 years.

Matthew is still very active in the day to day running of The Balloon Tree, including overseeing the farm and pick your own, and of course developing plans on how we can evolve the business.

When not onsite or checking over the farm, Matthew enjoys getting in some time on the golf course and walking his dog (Monty) with his family.

Read Matthew's full profile
Thomas Petch


Tom has been with the business since he was 16 with a couple of gaps for university. His very first role at The Balloon Tree was acting as the Easter Bunny before moving through to the kitchen as a pot wash. Tom has spent time in every department, covering most roles, apart from the Bakery… Baker Simon does not seem too keen.

Tom focuses on the day to day running of the business ensuring everything is running as smoothly as possible and assists Matthew in taking the business forward in the long term.

When off duty, Tom enjoys spending time with his nephew, Jack and touring other Farm Shops to see who does the best breakfast.

Read Thomas' full profile
Simon Rimmington

Head Baker

Simon is a career long Chef and in 2015 joined The Balloon Tree to head up its Bakery. Although a Derbyshire lad growing up on the estates of Chatsworth House, Simon has worked at some key venues in York including the Dean Court Hotel and the National Railway Museum.

Simon produces some of the finest cakes, desserts and traybakes this side of the river Ouse. His keen skill has helped in honing some Balloon Tree Classics to gain the reputation they have today including our fresh fruit roulade and our Malteser cake.

When he takes off his Chef’s hat, he is out with his wife Vicky for country walks, or looking for the next new cafe in York, or simply at home with his cat, Dennis.

Read Simon's full profile
Nicola White

Marketing and HR

Nicola has been with the business since 2016 and through that time predominantly worked in a supervisory role in the Café. Over time Nicola has diversified her position and picked up additional responsibilities to aid the business and take a few things off Tom’s plate.

Nicola manages The Balloon Tree’s social media accounts and oversees the marketing strategies for the business. Nicola is also a diverse member of staff who can turn her hand to working in other departments within the company, when necessary, mainly she assists in keeping the cafe running smoothly.

When not on site, Nicola has a house plant obsession and spends her time pruning, watering and tending to her unnecessary number of plants.

Read Nicola's full profile
Stephanie Rowland

Front of House Manager

Steph is not only a key member to the café, but an integral part of The Balloon Tree overall. She has been with us since July 2018 and has made each and every shift a joy.


When not in work, Steph has a hands-on interest in cocktail making, and what Steph doesn’t know about a passion fruit martini isn’t worth knowing.

Read Stephanie's full profile