We’re talking modern day farm shops. Each of the above locations is based around the principle of family owned spaces run by real foodies. At Daylesford the story began forty years ago, when the family farmland was first turned over to sustainable, organic farming, and Gloucester’s story began forty six years ago (although the current services itself opened in 2014), and in Spring 2019, The Farm opened on my doorstep in Stratford upon Avon.
The concept of a farm shop isn’t new. Fresh produce – vegetables, meat (especially that christmas turkey!), breads and cakes have been expected farm shop fayre for many years. But the modern day farm shops offer so much more; substantial portions of brunch, lunch and supper served in on site cafe or restaurant facilities, delivery services to local addresses and beyond, a showcase and theatres style preparation units for local suppliers and independent wine merchants for tastings and sales. These are unique food destinations; places where provenance is king, artisan produce is expertly displayed and wholesome, home grown, sustainable food is available alongside options for gluten free, dairy free and sugar free – concepts that would have been unheard of for the farm shops of forty years ago!
Farm shops are experiencing a boom in affluent areas, where they appeal to customers who want to know where their food comes from and to support the local community. Consumers are looking for transparency in the products they’re selecting to eat, expecting great quality and freshness as standard, and love the fact that they are helping the environment with low food miles simultaneously. Providing the owners keep their values at the forefront of the decisions they make, and continue to connect their business to their market in a way that supermarkets cannot do, we’re sure they will continue to flourish.