Waitrose has opened a farm shop on The Leckford Estate, the retailer’s farm in Hampshire.
Selling over 1,000 products, the shop has a strong emphasis on high quality, and locally and regionally sourced food. Known as ‘The Farm Shop, Leckford Estate’, the 165sq m shop has created 20 new jobs.
The Estate has worked with Taste of the South East and Hampshire Fare to identify high quality local producers, and the shop has already established supply from over 60 suppliers from the area, helping to boost the local and regional food economy.
The shop has also been designed to showcase the wide variety of food produced on the Estate. Situated in Leckford, on the River Test, the 4000 acre Estate is a working farm producing arable crops, including rapeseed for the farm’s own rapeseed oil and high quality bread making wheat which is used to make a range of flour. The farm also supplies milk, apples, pears, apple juice, cider and chestnut mushrooms as well as Leckford free range chickens which are already sold in Waitrose branches.
Iain Dalton, head of Leckford Estate, said: “ Waitrose is in a very fortunate position to have its own farm, and the new shop, which is totally unique for Waitrose, can showcase not just the food produced on the Estate, but allow outstanding local and regional food producers to flourish. The shop will sell the highest quality food and if something proves popular, there is the potential for it to be sold more widely.”
A bespoke oak framed building has been purposely built for the shop on the Leckford Estate, containing wooden furniture and fittings, handmade by a local carpenter. In addition to the shop is an 80 seat coffee shop, serving fresh food and drinks, with a log-burning stove, benches and sofas inside, and an outdoor dining area with views of the Estate’s nursery.