Harker’s Farm Shop’s impressive refurbishment gives foodies even more reasons to visit this Nottinghamshire gem
Harker’s Farm Shop in Clipston-on-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire, has never looked better. A summer refurbishment has resulted in a gleaming new butchery counter packed with Harker’s biggest draw –fresh home-reared meat. There’s also a new maturing fridge and a new deli counter full of local cheeses, patés and cooked meats.
These improvements are underpinned by new floors and wall cladding, an improved water system, upgraded electrics and a new production room. The shop feels fresher, brighter and more modern than ever. No wonder its many loyal fans are impressed, and no wonder people who discover Harker’s for the first time feel like they’ve found a precious gem in the Nottinghamshire countryside.
Sitting at the heart of a 100-acre working family farm, a large part of Harker’s Farm Shop’s appeal comes from the impressive provenance of its food and drink. A great deal of the meat sold in the shop has been raised in fields nearby – including outstanding aged Hereford and Aberdeen Angus beef, wonderful Texel-cross lamb and superb free-range poultry. Most of the rest of the produce on its shelves – from the bread to the beer – is locally sourced.
The rest of the shop’s appeal comes from its setting and friendly feel. It has a viewing area where children can look at donkeys, cattle, alpacas, goats, lambs, rabbits and ducks, plus a small park where they can zoom about on toy tractors. This shop is a small, family business with a personal, welcoming approach – although the 14-strong team are always efficient and professional too.
Apart from its beef and lamb, Harker’s Farm Shop is probably most famous for its sausages. The butchers hand-make an amazing 250 varieties on site using top quality Nottinghamshire pork. Many customers come in for their favourite bangers each week – the likes of Pork, Cider & Apple, Venison & Red Wine, Wild Boar & Orange and Classic Toulouse. Harker’s also delivers its meat and sausages to many local businesses including Langar Hall, Perkins Restaurant in Plumtree, Escabeche in West Bridgford and Edin’s in Nottingham. In fact, Edin’s has commissioned Harker’s to make its own special Italian sausage, which uses pork meat ground courser than normal and then combined with rosemary, garlic and parsley.
At a time when many UK retailers are cutting back, Harker’s Farm Shop is on the up. There’s been a shop on the farm in Clipston since 1954 when Tom ‘Dos’ Harker and his wife Margaret opened their farm gates to the public to sell eggs and poultry. Today, Tom’s son Rupert runs the farm and the shop with his wife Tracy and son Samuel. It is now a three-generation business. By investing to refurbish Harker’s Farm Shop so beautifully, it has every chance of becoming a fourth-generation business… and beyond.