Inside couples joint dream farm shop
- Credit: Lauren De Boise
After being delayed by the pandemic - a couple have realised their dream by opening a farm shop.
Michael Pawley and Angela Berni opened The Meadows Farm Shop in Sculthorpe, on Fakenham Road, on May 28. A little under two months later business is doing well.
Mr Pawley and Miss Berni have been growing their own plants and rearing their own meats for a number of years, selling them by word of mouth.
Now, they are stocking not only their own products but some of the very best Norfolk has to offer - such as Sharrington strawberries and Dann’s Ice Cream at the shop, which is on land passed down by Mr Pawley’s grandfather.
The pair were ready to open in 2020, but as the coronavirus brought lockdowns, they decided to delay.
“This was a joint dream, something we both thought of doing,” Mr Pawley said.
“Originally I wanted to have a plant nursery.
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“I used to work as the head gardener at Congham Hall, but with us producing our own meat, which is all hand reared and butchered, we wanted to try our hand at a farm shop.
“There was a little hesitation, opening so soon after the pandemic, but it actually might have been to our benefit."
Miss Berni added, “We were ready a few years ago, but covid put a hole in that, so there was no point as no one could have come along, nobody would have known about us, so it was pointless to open.
“But when we opened it, we felt it was now or never. If we kept waiting, when would the right time be?”
The shop is currently open four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, as Miss Berni and her partner continue to work other jobs.
Despite the limited opening times, she has been surprised by just how well the shop has done.
“A lot of local people have come to see us and said how impressed they were with us, which has been so nice.
“They have also been saying the area needed something like this, which makes us feel great about our choice.”
The pair will soon be opening a picnic area at their site, with takeaway food and drink on the horizon.
They also keep their animals on the site, such as their pigs, with hopes they will one day open a petting zoo alongside the shop.