The Farmers Butcher Opens New Premises

The Farmers Butcher Opens New Premises

The Farmers Butcher, owned and managed by Mike and Sarah Alexander, has moved into new, larger, purpose-built premises at Swallowfields Farm. The new premises were officially opened by Ian and Nicola Burgess, Swallowfields Farm’s owners, at a special event attended by customers and suppliers.

Ian and Nicola Burgess, who together cut the ribbon, commented: “This has been an amazing journey, and hopefully The Farmers Butcher will grow from strength to strength because Sarah and Mike, you deserve it, you really do!”

Previously The Farmers Butcher was located in a barn at the back of Swallowfields' farmyard. Many people stopped at the fencing fronting the road and didn’t come any further as they couldn’t see the shop and were uncertain where they were allowed to drive or park.

Sarah suggested: “Although we had a base of regular customers, new customers would find it too intimidating to drive through a working farm.”

Ian and Nicola Burgess suggested building new bigger premises closer to the road. This has also allowed Mike and Sarah to develop their offering. The new premises includes an on-site kitchen where they now produce their own ready-to-cook range, more space for local produce, including New Forest Tea, The Real Jam &Chuntey Company, Pig Beer and Hydes Cyder, and a display cabinet with The Farmers Butcher’s own ready-to-go hot food, such as homemade sausage rolls and pies. There’s also coffee to takeaway or enjoy in the new outside seating area.

Sarah said: “Since we opened it’s been amazing! We have been blown away with how many of our loyal customers have visited and how many new customers have come in.”

Mike added: “We are ecstatic with the reception we’ve had; I didn’t work as hard at Christmas as I did during our opening week in the new premises!”

Sarah explained: “We continue to be, first and foremost, a butcher with a ready-to-cook range, however we are now able to offer a wider selection of local produce. We are also now stocking fresh bread every day, which everyone is loving. We only stock UK veg, so if isn’t in season it won’t be available. The hot sausage rolls and pies, made by Colin the chef to takeaway, have been selling like hot cakes! We have had trouble keeping up with demand!”

Mike and Sarah are aware of customers’ interest in provenance, low miles and sustainability, therefore the Farmers Butcher specialises in quality, local meats. Free range chicken comes from Noah’s Ark in the New Forest; lamb comes from Bramshaw and Ringwood, and pork, beef and eggs come from Storm’s Farm a traditional family farm run by Andrew and Sarah Parry Jones, and only three miles away.

Sarah and Andrew Parry Jones said: “We started supplying The Farmers Butcher 18 months ago and it has gone really well. We are not commercial farmers, our animals are reared naturally. Customers want that local story, that animals were raised here, roaming on the Forest.”

Customers Sarah and Tim Weare said: “The Farmers Butcher is just fantastic. We’ve been customers for six years and buy our meat from them year round. It is great they’ve expanded. We walk our dog locally and we can now come by, have a coffee and take our dog for a walk.”

This is just what was intended – turning The Farmers Butcher into a destination shopping experience.