Well-established business owner to open Christmas farm shop in popular shopping centre for six weeks
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A well-established business owner has been given the opportunity to open a Christmas farm shop in a popular shopping location for six weeks.
Steve Reid, who runs Friars Farm, the Northampton Cheese Company, and the Northampton Charcuterie Co., hopes to continue championing local produce in the run up to Christmas.
As part of the MK Hatch project, ‘The Artisan Collective Farm Shop’ will open in Midsummer Place in Milton Keynes from 1pm next Thursday (November 16).
It will remain open for six weeks and the last day of trading is Boxing Day (December 26).
With six weeks of free retail space up for grabs as part of the project and the fact Midsummer management liked Steve’s farm shop idea, he was awarded the opportunity to make it a reality.
“It had never been done there before,” said Steve. “They wanted us to give it a go.”
When asked just how important it is to support local producers in the run up to Christmas, Steve said: “These last two years, for a lot of small producers, have been difficult.
“To get into a place like Midsummer and the footfall it will give is key to help other small businesses as well.”
Steve described the “ridiculously expensive” rents that businesses face to be able to trade in Northampton and Milton Keynes, but praised Midsummer Place for seeing a “big benefit in helping small, local businesses”.
It has been a busy time for Steve, preparing to open in just a week. He will be welcoming different producers to pop-up at the space, and others to provide their stock for him to sell.
Products from Steve’s three businesses will be available at The Artisan Collective Farm Shop – as well as The Confectionist, Phipps Brewery, Ganders Goat, Happy Bees Honey, Nakasero, and Harrison & Griffiths which appeared on Aldi’s Next Best Thing.
The Northampton Cheese Company, located in Foundry Street, is also excitingly working on some new cheeses – which are now being matured in the Phipps Brewery tunnels.
As well as the looming opening of the six-week farm shop, Steve is continuing to try and drive these new cheese variations forward.