Inside couples joint dream farm shop

Michael Pawley and Angela Berni at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Michael Pawley and Angela Berni at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham - 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.

The Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

The Meadows Farm Shop in Sculthorpe - Credit: Lauren De Boise

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.

Plants on sale at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Plants on sale at the Meadows Farm Shop in Sculthorpe - Credit: Lauren De Boise

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.

Michael Pawley and Angela Berni at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Michael Pawley and Angela Berni at the Meadows Farm Shop in Sculthorpe - Credit: Lauren De Boise

“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."

Michael Pawley and Angela Berni at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Michael Pawley and Angela Berni at the Meadows Farm Shop in Sculthorpe - Credit: Lauren De Boise

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.

Two pigs at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Two pigs at the Meadows Farm Shop in Sculthorpe - Credit: Lauren De Boise

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.”

Local produce created for the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Local produce created for the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham - Credit: Lauren De Boise

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.

Local produce created for the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Local produce created for the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Duck eggs laid on site for sale at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Duck eggs laid on site for sale at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Some of the produce for sale at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Some of the produce for sale at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham - Credit: Lauren De Boise

The Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

The Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Some piglets at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Some piglets at the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham - Credit: Lauren De Boise

The polytunnel where Michael and Angela grow much of the produce for the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenh

The polytunnel where Michael and Angela grow much of the produce for the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Michael Pawley with some of the produce he grows for the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham

Michael Pawley with some of the produce he grows for the Meadows Farm Shop in Fakenham