Profile: Farndon Fields Farm Shop

Published July 5, 2012

Picture your perfect food-shopping experience.

In your mind’s eye there are probably spacious aisles loaded with fresh fruit and veg grown in fields just yards away. There might also be a butchery section offering locally reared meat next to a fridge packed with local cheeses.

Round the corner, the bakery area contains breads made from locally milled flours; the freezers are full of award-winning ready meals and the booze shelves are stacked with wines and beers from local vineyards and breweries.

Farndon Fields Farm Shop near Market Harborough on the Leicestershire/Northants border is all of the above and more, combining genuine farm shop (the fruit and veg is grown on the farm) with cafe and garden centre.

It all started back in 1983 when owners Kevin and Milly Stokes opened a small shop in the garage of their 250-acre farm. By 1998 they had added a purpose-built farm shop extension, added a dairy section, and made room for a locally stocked bakery. Five years later a butchery, cafe and plant centre had been introduced.

“On the farm we grow over 40 types of vegetable and six varieties of potato,” says owner Milly Stokes. Homegrown produce on sale includes raspberries, strawberries leeks and asparagus.

A Mediterranean-inspired deli has also opened recently. “We’ve recently bought nine pigs and are feeding them our waste vegetables so we also hope to begin selling our own pork,” says Milly.

So what’s the secret of Farndon Field’s success? Well, the fact that it’s a genuine farm shop helps, but it is retail know-how in the form of clever shop layout and good product selection that really makes it special. “We aim to give people a really personal shopping experience,” says Milly. In an age of plastic shopping malls, they certainly succeed in that.

____________________

Farndon Fields, Farndon Road, Mkt Harboro, Leics LE16 9NP

____________________

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.