A FAMILY farm near Rotherham is building up a successful business after opening its own shop with backing from Yorkshire Bank’s Agribusiness team.
The Ross family, which has farmed 200 acres in the village of Morthen for more than 60 years, has used the Bank’s assistance to convert a former cowshed into Lawns Farm Shop.
The shop sells produce from the family farm and other local farms as well as locally-sourced, hand-crafted products, including meats, eggs, fruit and vegetables, homemade cakes, preserves, cheeses, breads and handmade chocolates
This Sunday it will be making a bid for fame when it makes its debut in the thick pork sausage and speciality sausage classes at the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage and Products Competition in Bradford.
“We opened Lawns Farm Shop to create a new income stream after I joined the family farm,” says Anthony Ross, who studied forensic and analytical science at Sheffield Hallam University and now manages the shop.
“At first it was largely passing trade but we have now built a core customer base in the village and the surrounding area. We have created one new job, have plans to take on an apprentice and we hope to create more work as we continue to diversify.
“The growth in farmers’ markets and farm shops over the last 20 years has created a new consumer market which prefers to buy local, fresh, often organic, products which are sourced within their own community. We are already on course to exceed our projected £70,000 annual turnover and have further plans to open a café and make our own ice cream.”
The farm has been in the Ross family for three generations, having been acquired by Alfred Edwin Ross, in the 1940s, and is now run by father David, Anthony and his elder brother, Christopher.
The farm has a herd of 90 Friesian Holstein cattle and the family has also bred Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Belted Galloway cows.
It also has a sizeable collection of chickens and ducks of various varieties, a commercial free-range turkey and goose business, aimed at the Christmas market and a herd of pigs, made up mainly of rare or old English breeds such as British Lop and Gloucestershire Old Spot.