I have been speaking to Anna Bareham and Emily Anger about the sensational new addition to the Royal Oak: the organic farm shop! Anna and Emily have worked for the business for a few years now in the Royal Oak pub. However, with the arrival of the covid-19 lockdown, came a village crisis, as many of the locals were now unable to access staple foods.
“Because all pubs and restaurants (including our own) were forced to close, this left a lot of spare produce. So, we set up the shop quickly in just a few days so that we could help the locals by using up our spare produce. Then, before we knew it, we had developed a farm shop.”Anna
Produce for our organic farm shop came predominantly from our own farm. The range now includes: fresh and retail packed organic meat (all from Helen Browning Organics), a range of organic fruit and veg from a local farm, organic bread and flour (all derived from the wheat harvested here at Eastbrook Farm), organic eggs, and organic dairy products. Plus the most delicious ice cream from Ray’s; the salted caramel flavour is to die for!
During covid-19 lockdown the shop began deliveries to people nearby but over the period of just 3 months, the delivery list became further and farther afield – national online deliveries were then launched. This included the launch of our UK-wide meat box scheme; delivering organic British meat straight to your door. There are now several different meat boxes to choose from, with a range to suit all tastes.
To find out more about our meat boxes and nationwide delivery, please click here.
“The first delivery box was actually quite the disaster; we even had a ready meal explosion, that did not end well! … But don’t worry, after a bit of trial and error we are much better now. We have made improvements to our packaging skills that’s for sure! We always try to reuse our packaging as much as possible, so much so that Emily and I ended up with a cardboard box mountain as we were so adamant to throw any of them away just in case we needed them.”Anna
Over the last few months our agroforestry project has been growing rapidly, which has also contributed to the shop. We can now supply in-season blackcurrants, Bishopstone plums and a delightful plum cordial, as well as freshly squeezed apple juice. So, guaranteed low food miles.
When purchasing our organic products, you will always know exactly what’s in your food. Temptingly tasty fresh food that you can rely on… And if you fancy more of an alcoholic tipple, then do not worry, we also supply Bishopstone’s own raspberry vodka courtesy of a lovely local producer.
“We also have some honey from Teo who works on the farm, but he’s actually highly allergic to bees so it’s quite ironic. It’s really a shame because he loves his bees, and we love his honey!Anna
We also sell a few lovely pieces of artwork by Ushma Sargeant who is local to Bishopstone, they are really amazing and interesting pieces of artwork, so we would love to give her a shoutout.”