A farm shop in Leicestershire has expanded its services to help feed elderly and vulnerable people across its community.
Roots, based at Thorpe Farm, in Barkby Thorpe, has launched a home delivery service to support its elderly customers, which 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 buy.
Owner George Mount said the farm shop had previously considered launching a home delivery service, but Covid-19 had encouraged them to diversify.
“As many of our customers are elderly, we have set up a home delivery service to help support them,” he explained.
“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 a wave from a distance, along with words of reassurance as we deliver shopping.”
At a time when supermarkets are facing huge demand, Mr Mount said farm shops are “bending over backwards” to ensure that people across their communities have access to the food essentials they need.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
After lockdown was announced, the farm decided to change the farm shop’s opening hours and they had to immediately close their on-site café and meeting space.
But they are exploring ways to introduce an outdoor seating area to the café so they can safely reopen when government guidelines allow.
Farmers Weekly is getting behind the #FeedtheNation campaign to back UK farmers working flat out to produce safe, affordable and reliable food to feed the nation during the coronavirus crisis.
With our partners, we are raising public awareness of this campaign by highlighting the actions farmers are taking to get food to consumers.