Day 10 – Relationships!

As touched upon in our last post, the Farm shop and Coffee shop have formed a fantastic symbiotic relationship since the coffee shop was built and opened in 2007. 

Before this time we used to serve cake and coffee during the summer holiday “season” from the tiny kitchen area in the Farm Shop.  Even with screens and the best will in the world this was far from ideal and so in 2007 we took the plunge and built the Coffee Shop. The building was inspired by that Winter’s skiing holiday in the Alps, we loved the cosy log cabins with woodburning fires blazing where we stopped for coffees and hot chocolates with the Brown family.  A wooden building also seemed to fit with our ideas of being as sustainable as possible.  This was enhanced with a growing sedum roof, solar panels, sun pipes and a micro-generator wind turbine.  Initially we though that the Coffee Shop would just open during the summer holidays, but it soon became apparent that this little log cabin was going to be a popular year round destination and a great benefit to the Farm Shop.

The Coffee Shop acts as another draw for customers to make the journey up the hill, being able to enjoy a fine cup of coffee and a sausage butty before popping in to do their weekly shop. Thanks to the Coffee Shop, we are able to showcase the farm’s produce on site.  Our sausage, bacon, eggs, bacon butter and black pudding are the stars of the show throughout our breakfast & brunch menu, with our quarterpound beef burgers being our year round best seller on our lunch menu.

As previously mentioned, the two teams work closely together to help each other out and to minimise waste, with ordering of bread, milk and other essentials being done centrally for both sites. The coffee shop are able to order their meat at the farm shop team with little notice, taking the guess work out of their ordering and helping to keep their waste to minimum.  Washing is also done as a joint effort. And when one site is having one-of-those-days, staff will hop across from the other site to help out.

Customers might visit the farm for a child’s birthday party or to go down to the Forest Adventure, with the intention of going to the coffee shop, without realising that we have a Farm Shop.  They grab a sausage bun to stop the hunger pains and before you know it they’ve had to pop over to buy a pack of sausages to take home for bangers and mash.