A delightful family run business with delicious home-reared pork and local lamb and beef
Go there for: Local beef, lamb, pork, sausages, milk and free-range eggs – and hanging baskets!
Avoid: High expectations: this is a small shop with a limited range of produce.
Is it worth the calories?: Our rib of beef was heavenly and surely special treats don’t count!
Tips: This is a small farm shop with big plans: support them to make their expansion a reality.
It’s really all about the meat here. The story began 31 years ago when Emma and Kate’s mum wanted a bigger back garden: she acquired a small farm shop and continued to grow and sell their produce. When a large supermarket opened in Burpham they lost all their trade overnight. Forced to diversify, Rita Thorpe bought herself some books on growing plants and Elm Nursery was born. Thanks to Rita’s green fingers, it’s now a thriving business and they offer a friendly bespoke service you can’t get in bigger nurseries. Over filled hanging baskets start at just £20.
Things were ticking over when Joe, a local farmer needing a retail outlet for his small supply of beef, pork and lamb, popped in for a chat, the timing was right so they went ahead. Animals are free-range and slaughtered as needed by a local abattoir using humane methods that don’t stress the animals prior to slaughter. Hung after slaughter for the optimum time, the meat is mouth-wateringly tender and flavourful. Fridges and freezers were installed and they now stock local milk and cheese (Norbury blue, Dirty Vicar and a selection from High Weald) and their own eggs. They grow a small selection of fresh produce on site – next year they want to grow more in their polytunnels.
To complement the core business Emma and Kate also sell a limited range of locally made cakes and preserves. Jams are made by a local lady Tina who gives 75% of her proceeds to a local hospice in Woking and they are keen to expand what they offer in the future.
Joe’s farm shop is a low-key operation, but there’s a lot to like. Maybe it’s the way the chickens wander in the shop, or that Rita, Emma and Kate always offer such an energetic welcome. There is also the added satisfaction that whatever you buy is helping the local economy stay afloat – at prices that are competitive.