Working independently at Coldharbour Farm
- Credit: Archant
Farm grown fare from award-winning retailer
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.
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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.
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What made you decide to set up as an independent trader in Ottery St Mary?
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.
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.
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?
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.
To read more features from East Devon Resident, click here.