DEPDEN FARM SHOP AND FARM CAFE IS NOW CLOSED DOWN
Thank you to all our lovely customers.
Can I still buy your home grown produce?
We do want to continue to sell our produce to local customers – the produce will be grown by the MFT Charity:
- We plan to develop a local veg box scheme to sell the fruit and veg we grow here as well provide a network through which to sell the meat we produce.
- We hope to continue to grow our own turkeys for Christmas and to supply Christmas trees.
- We will have a stall on Fridays selling our eggs and surplus veg.
- Adam Turner’s fish van will continue to be here every Friday afternoon 2-5pm.
- We will have open days and special events.
So there will be plenty of opportunities for you to continue to visit us and you can please read the information below.
Time to move on…
A brief note from Tim and Mark
It is with considerable sadness that we have to inform you that we have decided to close Depden Farm Shop and Café.
As many of you will be aware, for the last couple of years, we have been working with a local charity, Millennium Farm Trust (MFT), to provide education and training in animal husbandry, horticulture and small scale agriculture for people with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries or those recovering their mental health. The work has proved hugely rewarding and is proving very popular with beneficiaries and commissioners alike. In recent months we have received sizable grants to purchase adapted tools, to buy a polytunnel, to make the farm more wheelchair accessible (work commences in March) and finally to provide opportunities for young people with learning disabilities during the school or college holidays. However, the growth of MFT is severely restricted by lack of space – they are currently operating out of our front room which makes providing their services for more people very difficult.
In contrast to that growth, takings from the shop and café have remained stable over the past couple of years, whilst costs continue to rise eating away at the profit margin every month. We have tried hard to devise different scenarios which might make it possible to keep the shop and café as it currently stands. But to no avail. We need to recognise that the business is no longer sustainable.
We have therefore reached the inevitable conclusion that we should close the shop and café and invest Tim’s time and the farms resources in helping grow Millennium Farm Trust. They will use the shop building for their headquarters – much more suitable that our living room and Tim will have time to work with them full time, doing what makes his heart sing. We do however want to continue to sell our produce to local customers and have therefore with them, we plan to develop a local veg box scheme to sell the fruit and veg they grow here as well provide a network through which to sell the meat we produce. We hope to continue to provide our own turkeys for Christmas and to supply Christmas trees. And of course, Adam Turner’s fish van will continue to be here every Friday afternoon. So there will be plenty of opportunities for you to continue to visit us!
We are hugely proud of the shop and the incredibly supportive community that has grown up around it. A massive thank you to all our loyal customers. Thank you for your patience and for creating such a lovely atmosphere over these past five years. Thanks too for helping to support some wonderful local suppliers; Mark Proctor’s bread, Nethergate Wines and Carol’s pies to name but a few. We could not have done it without our amazing staff. They have to take credit for getting us this far and I cannot thank them enough for their enthusiasm, loyalty and good humour.
Thank you everyone from the bottom of hearts and I hope that many of you will be able to support us on the next stage of our journey here at Rookery Farm, Depden in partnership with Millennium Farm Trust. If you would like information by email about MFT and how we are getting on, as well reading about opportunities there will be for you to get involved, please join our mailing list.