Working independently at Coldharbour Farm

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:48 08 July 2019

Beth and Andrea of Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4969. Picture: Terry Ife

Beth and Andrea of Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4969. Picture: Terry Ife

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Farm grown fare from award-winning retailer

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 5021. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 5021. Picture: Terry Ife

Please introduce yourself…

Andrea grew up at Coldharbour Farm, Ottery St Mary in the heart of East Devon.

She is the fourth generation to farm at Coldharbour Farm where she keeps around 100 breeding ewes and a few pigs.

Andrea has a passion for small scale food production and believes in very high levels of animal welfare - she felt driven to develop a farm shop where people would have access to local produce and also to promote other local small-scale food producers.

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4997. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4997. Picture: Terry Ife

Beth has always had a passion for food and cooking.

When she moved to Devon from Surrey 15 years ago with her family, she became aware that there was an abundance of really good locally produced food in the area and became more interested in the provenance of her own food.

What made you decide to set up as an independent trader in Ottery St Mary?

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4996. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4996. Picture: Terry Ife

Andrea and Beth were introduced by a mutual friend and soon realised they had a lot in common.

They decided to join forces and Coldharbour Farm Shop was born in 2016, initially selling jams and chutneys, free-range eggs, apple juice and a few other home-produced items with just an honesty box.

After the success of their first Christmas Shop, they continued to grow from strength to strength.

Their farm shop café was opened in 2017 and they have since won a Taste of the West Gold Award for their breakfast using bacon and sausages from their own outdoor reared pigs.

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4987. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4987. Picture: Terry Ife

Last summer Andrea and Beth converted a vintage horsebox to use as a quirky catering trailer for parties, events, and food festivals - again serving their own meats, salads and veggies.

More recently they launched their Ready Meal Menu, specifically designed and aimed at people who have limited time for cooking but who still want to enjoy good quality nutritious food in their own homes.

Through the summer they will be serving cream teas and grazing platters in their farmhouse garden, alongside their already extensive Brunch Menu.

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How do you see your business faring in the next five years?

Looking ahead, they would like to think that in five years' time, they will have continued their pattern of growth serving more of the community with good, honest food and great customer service.

What one piece of advice would you give to anybody considering setting up a local independent shop or business?

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4979. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4979. Picture: Terry Ife

With Andrea and Beth's experience of running a local independent business, the one piece of advice they would give anyone thinking about starting a business would have to be to ensure you have lots of energy and commitment to yourself and your business.

A business plan is a good thing but listen to your business and what its needs are, on an on-going basis.

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4977. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4977. Picture: Terry Ife

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4973. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4973. Picture: Terry Ife

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4972. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 4972. Picture: Terry Ife

Coldharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 5006. Picture: Terry IfeColdharbour Farm Shop. Ref edr 20 19TI 5006. Picture: Terry Ife

To read more features from East Devon Resident, click here.

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