A farm shop in Leicestershire has expanded its services to help feed the vulnerable across the community.

A farm shop in Leicestershire has expanded its services to help feed the vulnerable across the community.

Roots, on Thorpe Farm in Barkby Thorpe, has launched a home delivery service to support its elderly customers, and has already seen its client base expand.

The farm shop, which is based on the Barkby Estate, stocks fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, baked goods and ready meals and has also branched out into store cupboard essentials – taking requests from customers on what they would like to purchase.
Owner George Mount said that the farm shop – situated on the estate which is managed by Leicestershire-based property consultancy Fisher German – had previously considered launching a home delivery service, and Covid-19 has encouraged them to diversify.


He said: “After lockdown was announced we made the decision to reduce the shop’s opening hours and had to immediately close our on-site café and meeting space.
“As many of our customers are elderly, we also began looking at setting up a home delivery service to help support them.
“Although running on a skeleton staff, we are able to provide our customers and some of the most vulnerable people locally with the essential items they need, as well as a friendly voice at the end of the phone and wave at a distance along with words of reassurance as we deliver shopping.
“We are also listening to our customers’ needs and would rather stock more store cupboard essentials at a reasonable price than see people struggle.  
“At a time when supermarkets are facing huge demand, farm shops are bending over backwards to ensure that people across their communities have access to the essentials they need.
“We have seen our customer base expand through word of mouth and are receiving orders both locally and across the surrounding areas.
“It has been hard work, but we have received a huge amount of positive feedback from people who are extremely appreciative of the service we are providing.
“As farmers we have had to learn to diversify and be open to new ideas that may be a little out of our comfort zone, but launching a home delivery service has had a positive impact on the business and is something we hope to continue running even after the lockdown has eased completely.
“We are also currently exploring ways to introduce an outdoor seating area to our café to enable us to safely re-open when government guidelines allow, and will hopefully be able to welcome both our existing customers and some of our new ones.”
John Palmer, of Fisher German, said: “Roots is a very popular business which has diversified to ensure it can continue serving its customers.
“Barkby Estate is hugely supportive of the farm shop and it is excellent to hear the positive impact that launching the delivery service has had on both the business and the local community during this time.”
 


< Back