GOLD WINNER FOR DIVERSIFICATION INNOVATOR
OF THE YEAR – LARGE
Sponsored by: Firma Foreign Exchange
The Lambing Shed Farm Shop, Moseley Hall Farm, Cheshire
Thinking of new ways to supplement the initial farm business and provide jobs for other family members, the Mitchells didn’t mess about.
They built and successfully run a new 320 square-metre state-of-the-art on-site farm shop, the core ethos of which came with a desire to work in conjunction with the family’s sheep and beef production; allowing the business to grow while showcasing its efforts at the adjoining café, butchery and delicatessen, stocked by more than 60 local suppliers.
Since its launch in 2015 – all built up from the farm’s old lambing shed – the family-run business has boosted both its 1,500 breeding ewes and 300 beef cattle numbers, prompting a premium price in the butchery and it is now on track to sell its home-reared rare breed Longhorn cattle within the next 12 months.
“Having farmed here for generations we are very proud of the traceability and authenticity of our meat, and as farmers by trade we know what it takes to create the perfect flavour in our meat,” says, Kathryn.
“In the diversification process we wanted to ensure we supported other local suppliers as much as possible as we know it is their unique products along with our homemade produce that sets us apart from the rest.”
The diversification has also allowed Kathryn and the team to be more conscientious with meeting consumer demand for both convenience produce while also minimising environmental impact.
As a result, all monies raised from the 5p plastic carrier bag charge in the shop are being donated to local charities.
Looking ahead, Kathryn is spotting opportunities in the 65+ consumer demographic to boost the business with home delivery and the possible expansion of the site to other retail spaces including florists, interior spaces and a hairdressers.
The business prides itself on engaging with all aspects of the local community, through supporting charities and local events while also bumping up a personal level of experience when shopping.
Kathryn says: “Our customers want to see a friendly face that knows their name, so we encourage this level of service. We feel the best advert for us is our customers.”
The judges said about Kathryn: Kathryn knows exactly what she wants and how she wants to achieve it. She has sound awareness of the industry and has adapted the farm shop in just three years and enabled it to support itself, employment in the local industry and offer a new community hub. The diversification has enabled all family members to continue in the generational running of this fantastic, family farm.
On winning, Kathryn said: “It has been a lot of hard work by a lot of different people but it has been worth the journey we are still learning so much about. Winning this award is the cherry on top. We are a family farm and diversifying has helped us continue to farm with all members involved. Hard work really can pay off.”