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Lorrainelovesplants

setting up a farm shop -info?

We have friends who are doing quite well producing their own pork & beef and willow products. They would like to open a small farm shop.

Could anyone signpost to where they could find the relevent info required?

Ive told them to contact the local EHO as a starter.
Rob R

Won't they already have been in touch with the EHO with the beef & pork business?
Lorrainelovesplants

they are only selling to friends at the mo - very small scale. They now realise they could do it properly.
Rob R

In that case I would urge them to be very wary of the figures before investing time and money in a shop. It's very easy selling to your mates compared to selling as a business, as you already have that trust established but if they have the right location and footfall they should be able to set up a shop for less than 10k.
VM

Judging from farm shops that I see, stop at and buy from - and have done in various parts of the country, I'd agree that location is key. Some people will go somewhere on purpose to get something really good they can't get elsewhere, but you need some passing trade or to be near other things people are visiting.
Lorrainelovesplants

will pass this on thanks.
Mistress Rose

An alternative if they are not in a suitable place might be markets/farmers markets. They will still need all the hygiene certificates, storage etc. but no premises.
chickenann

I second testing the water further - eg farmers markets.
Lots of areas have "small business link" schemes where there should be tonnes of advice etc on offer.
I do some work for a local farm shop, but they sell loads of stuff they don't make themselves - you'd need to sell a heck of a lot of sausages and woven willow to cover the overheads of a "proper" shop. Any chance of networking with similar suppliers (non-competing) who may want the same type of outlet?
Bodger

I'd love to open a mini sort of farm shop but this would still bring a lot of red tape and permissions etc with it.
Rob R

I'd love to open a mini sort of farm shop but this would still bring a lot of red tape and permissions etc with it.


The trouble is that it brings the same red tape as a big shop, which have the scale to justify employing someone to do the extra work. And a big shop takes as much manning as a small one. Selling direct is a good way to increase income, but it also increases costs significantly too.

People also seem to respond differently to bad experiences with small traders too. If you get bad customer service from one assistant in a supermarket that employs 60 people it's easier to make excuses to go back (they're only low paid so it's not their fault, or they're only one person and it's easier to avoid them in future or they're not responsible for the beef that turned out to be horse) whereas a small shop with a staff of three you're more likely to boycott them completely.
Bodger

I was thinking of a small shop with a staff of me. Very Happy
Rob R

I was thinking of a small shop with a staff of me. Very Happy


They're the worst, you can't even sack the staff Wink
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