By Jo O'Boyle Owner of Spencer's Farm Shop Wickham St Paul's, Essex
By definition a farm shop is a shop which sells produce from a farm directly to the public, but I would say it doesn’t just stop there. A farm shop is a haven for all things special and different in the homogenised supermarket age where you can buy anything at any time of the year regardless of seasonality in the nearest store or at the click of a mouse.
In the time where convenience is what we all need in our increasingly hectic lives; a farm shop offers a more wholesome experience where the potatoes still have mud on them, the veg isn’t shrouded in plastic, the cakes are homemade and the meat is locally sourced.
...But what makes them FABULOUS?
A fabulous farm shop doesn’t have to be a sprawling shed, many start from very humble beginnings often selling their home grown produce from a shed, growing organically due to customer demand. A fabulous farm shop should champion fresh and support local producers & farmers offering the best produce from the county and region in a way that no supermarket can. What’s more a fabulous farm shop can offer a customer experience second to none. Passionate, knowledgeable staff deliver tastings, know their customers by name, pack their bags & if needed carry their shopping to their car.
Farm shops are particularly fabulous because of the local provenance that is guaranteed in its products. If what you’re buying wasn’t grown or reared or made on the farm itself the farm shop will likely source the produce direct from the farmer and understand how & where it was reared, grown & made. Particularly relevant during food scares that have affected nearly all UK supermarkets over the years. At a farm shop there’s no middle man so to speak and the journey from ‘field to fork’ is a short one. What’s more shopping local helps to drive the local economy because local businesses invest locally so your money spent will stay in the community.
What’s not to love?
So this weekend if you’re at a loose end find your local farm shop, channel your inner foodie and be inspired by the delightful local produce on offer.
Discover your local Fabulous Farm Shop by clicking this LINK