Launde Farm Foods
Launde Farm Foods specialises in lamb raised on Launde Farm, which is located a stone’s throw from Launde Abbey in a surprisingly hilly section of land on the east Leicestershire/Rutland border.
Launde Farm Foods’ lamb is in demand. Husband and wife team Gwilym and Alex Owen sell directly to households (“just email us or give us a call,” says Alex) but also to some of the area’s best pubs and restaurants, including GFC recommended venues Hambleton Hall in Rutland, The Berkeley Arms in Wymondham, The Fox & Hounds in Exton, The Mad Turk in Stamford and many more besides.
So what makes their lamb so good? “A few things,” says Alex. “Firstly it’s the breed selections and the fact they eat just grass, not concentrates. Even when they come in for a couple of months in the winter they eat home-cut sileage. Launde Farm brings them on slowly rather than hurrying things, so the spring lamb starts coming through in July. Secondly the abattoir Launde Farm uses is just four miles away in Pickwell, so that reduces stress. Thirdly we hang our lamb for between seven and 14 days depending on customer preference.”
Launde Farm is run by Gwilym’s brother Gareth and his wife Hannah. They look after around 1,700 sheep – Aberfields crossed with Hill ewes mainly, plus a few Charollais-Suffolk-cross tups – who roam over hundreds of acres. Getting the grassland right is high priority so that the sheep are hardy, healthy and tasty.
With Launde Farm behind Launde Farm Foods’ lamb, it’s no surprise that the likes of Aaron Paterson, Hambleton Hall head chef, rates it so highly.
By Matt Wright, founder & editor-in-chief