The Farm Shop Reinvented For 2020
A family farm shop in the heart of the Meon Valley has relaunched after a £60,000 refurbishment, to provide more choice while cutting back on plastics and packaging to improve its environmental credentials.
Westlands Farm Shop at Pricketts Hill, Wickham, has expanded into its former tea room to create space for a delicatessen, self-serve refill stations and more room for fruit and veg from the farm.
Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond cut the ribbon to officially launch the refurbished farm shop - and then did some of her own shopping while she was visiting.
Shoppers are encouraged to refill bottles from a fresh milk vending machine and fill their own containers with a wide range of dried foods and cereals from refill stations. Westlands has also teamed up with family-run company ‘Fill’ which supplies no-waste biodegradable and environmentally responsible cleaning products for people with their own containers.
Westlands will continue to sell its own hand-reared free-range beef and lamb, along with locally sourced free-range game, pork, seasonal meats, fresh bread, cheese, wine and gifts. Home-grown strawberries and raspberries produced on the farm nine months of the year will still be available, too.
In addition, a new entrance to the shop has been created as part of the works to enable social distancing and to keep the shopping environment as safe as it can be. Graham and Kayleigh Collett are second generation owners of Westlands Farm and decided on the investment and transformation of the shop when lockdown came in and they were forced to close the tea room.
Kayleigh Collett explains: “We have been a bit cramped for space in the farm shop as the demand for more ethically-produced and locally-sourced products has continued during and after the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We felt that we could make better use of the space where the tea room used to be by having a wider range of products that were more aligned with our own ethical and environmental priorities. We wanted to offer more, but reduce the reliance on plastics and packaging. That’s why we have gone for refill stations where people can buy as little or as much as they need and fill their own containers.
“We are especially pleased to be able to offer fresh Meon Valley Milk from a vending machine - people can refill their own bottles with milk that comes from cows a couple of miles away.
“We have been at the heart of the Meon Valley for two generations now providing the produce of our farm and other local suppliers direct to the public and we are delighted that we are able to continue to do that in an even better and more comfortable environment for all shoppers.”
Other Hampshire Fare members have developed their businesses or diversified during lockdown. Read more HERE.