Family-run farm says newly refitted farm shop aims to be ‘the best in Northamptonshire’

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With shoppers wanting fresh local produce, the Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton has gone from strength to strength

A family-run Northamptonshire farm has had a major refit and they intend for it to be the best in the county.

The Thomas Farm Shop at East Lodge Farm, neighbouring Sywell Country Park in Ecton, has undergone a major transformation that has seen a full shop refit and an expanded product range for traders and shoppers.

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Farm Shop owner Thomas White said: “Customers absolutely love it. They think it is amazing. Our long term aim is to become the best version of ourselves and the best Northamptonshire has to offer.”

The family-run Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.The family-run Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.
The family-run Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.

The refit, which took around two weeks, made a great deal of room for new products including fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, cheese, bread from the local bakery, pasta, sauces - everything you need to create a full meal.

The farm shop also has a licence to sell alcohol and stocks local beer brewed in Market Harborough as well as Saxby’s Cider and wine.

The real show stopper, however, is the brand new L-shaped meat counter stocking a range of cuts including beef, poultry, pork and lamb.

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While the coronavirus pandemic was detrimental to businesses across the UK, custom actually picked up for the Thomas Farm Shop on the back of supply chain issues for supermarkets.

The new meat counter at the Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.The new meat counter at the Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.
The new meat counter at the Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.

Thomas told this newspaper: “Covid made people shop more locally and that brought customers to us.

“When supermarkets couldn’t fill the shelves with fresh meat and various other things, we maintained supply and supported customers through those difficult times. From there, we gained new customers and these people stuck with us.”

Thomas said pre-Covid was difficult times for the farm shop and it is now nowhere near as busy as it was during the pandemic but it still remains popular in the local community.

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When asked what makes the Thomas Farm Shop the best in the county, Thomas said: “The team are really friendly and really approachable. We offer a great service and our location is stunning. It looks down to Sywell Country Park and a lot of customers say it is such a lovely location to drive out to and visit.

The Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.The Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.
The Thomas Farm Shop in Ecton.

“Working on customer feedback is what we like to do. They are really happy with where we have taken it.”

Thomas grew up on East Lodge Farm, which has been run by his family since the 1960s. They are predominantly beef farmers and all the beef and lamb they supply is reared and sourced in Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire. Their beef is approved by the Red Tractor Assurance scheme, meaning they have high welfare and care standards.

East Lodge Farm’s first ever farm shop - the Thomas Farm Shop - was established in 2014.

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Nathan Betts joined the business in 2020 after completing a butchery apprenticeship there. Both Thomas and Nathan are both trained chefs and pride themselves on providing high quality meat to wholesalers and customers.

Thomas married his wife Chloe in 2016. They went on to have a daughter called Hattie and a son called George. They run an Equestrian centre alongside the farm business.

For more information about the Thomas Farm Shop, visit