MSC OFFERS RETAIL INSIGHT TO HELP YORKSHIRE FARM SHOP ENHANCE ITS OFFERING

Retail specialists at Malcolm Scott Consultants have helped a highly reputable meat supplier to develop its business proposition to include a farm shop and café outlet.  Anna’s Happy Kitchen in Howden will be providing its customers with a range of locally sourced products to support its own fantastic range from Anna’s Happy Trotters.

Anna’s Happy Kitchen is one of many farm shops who found that, as essential retailers, there was great potential to develop their business and capitalise on new change of use planning regulations that enabled them to expand their offering.

Initially formed as an off-shoot of the established free-range pork product wholesale business Anna’s Happy Trotters, which supplies high-quality pork and bacon products to farm shops, retailers and caterers from its own processing facility, owner Anna Longthorp recognised the potential for a dedicated farm shop to sell direct to customers, offering a ‘field to fork’ offering of the highest quality meat from Anna’s own farm.

The decision led to Anna forming the Happy Kitchen, and further to contacting Malcolm Scott Consultants for a review of her business and to offer guidance on its development, the farm shop has undergone a refit to enhance its offering of local produce and has now opened its doors to customers.

Andrew Burton, of MSC, said: “Further to an initial review of the business to consider its development aims and goals, we prepared a report to outline opportunities for Anna’s Happy Kitchen, including potential suppliers, suggested retail layouts and building draft trading budgets.

“A huge factor in the business’ success was its farm-reared produce. British-made products have long been associated with quality and trust and locally sourced products show a sign of community and togetherness – something which came to the fore in 2020. Anna’s Happy Kitchen has a very strong, high quality butchery offering,  with a lovely café and takeaway.  With the site being in a good location, with good parking, we identified an excellent opportunity to build a retail proposition focused on Yorkshire product and local, high-quality produce that cannot be found in local supermarkets and convenience stores.

Andrew added: “The past year has seen our farm shop client-base develop more than ever at Malcolm Scott Consultants.  As essential retailers they have the local, quality offering their competitors often cannot match and there was huge potential to develop their operations and to give customers something personal.

“Few businesses thrived throughout the UK’s series of lockdowns, but farm shops are one of the sectors that have, and it’s exciting for us to be working on a diverse range of business plans across the field,” he said.

Anna Longthorp, owner of Anna’s Happy Kitchen said “Our family have been farming for four generations. Originally a purely arable farm growing crops, pigs were added to the mix some 30  years ago to make better use of the grain and straw we produce.  In 2008 we decided to make better use of the pigs we were producing by going through a more direct route and selling to butchers and farm shops to get closer to the consumer. 

“Malcolm Scott Consultants really helped in creating  vision and strategy and our next step is to open Ann’s Happy Kitchen which gives our customers the opportunity to buy directly from us in a shop that is convenient, full of local produce and allows customers to shop in a Covid-safe environment too.

“Our number one priority is the welfare of our pigs and this is something we are very proud of. I am a big believer in being responsible when it comes to eating meat, which means making sure that it has been produced to high welfare standards.  As well as being Red Tractor Assured and Freedom Foods accredited, Compassion in World Farming have also recognised our commitment to animal welfare by presenting us with a GOOD PIG AWARD.  I am sure our customers want this too and we are really looking forward to welcoming our existing and new customers back.”