February's Featured Retailer
Blackwell's Farm Shop
Owned by the Blackwell family for over 30 years, a family with farming history going back four generations, Blackwell’s is a classic English gem. Situated at Herons Farm, in Essex, you can feel a clear sense of local pride and family values from the moment you leave the main road to travel up the dirt path, before parking slap bang in the middle of the countryside. Once inside the farm shop itself, this feeling is only strengthened. You’re surrounded by pictures and stories about the local producers who work closely with the Blackwell family, shown loud and proud on the walls around the shop.
Blackwell’s Farm Shop commits to sourcing 90% of their produce within a 20-mile radius of the farm (guess we were lucky to make the cut!) and make a point of personally knowing each and every one of their suppliers. Their main business is meat – having also started the Rare Breed Meat Company to supply wholesale to leading food halls, butchers and restaurants including Harrods and C. Lidgates. They raise geese and turkeys themselves, on Herons Farm, but have a wide range of alternative meat and poultry from farms surrounding the area.
Despite their obvious expertise and focus on meat, Blackwell’s also offers a rather generous range of other farm shop goodies. They have their own on-site professional kitchen, providing the shop with fresh bread, cakes and other tasty bakes. That’s not to mention their wide range of seasonal fruit and veg, preserves, fresh juices and local wines – often at a price that rivals some supermarkets – and all of which has been carefully vetted by the family.
The farm shop also caters for events, using their locally sourced produce, and resident chef, Mark, to create a range of tasty nibbles and meals. The testimonials for his work, that can be found on their website, speak for themselves! Here’s our favourite:
“Hi Mark, Thank you for all you did for us, it was a great service you guys provided. I would recommend Blackwells Catering to everyone. This company exceeded our expectations and more, the quoted price was so reasonable. On creating our menu plan for our wedding day….Mark was very accommodating, happy to alter recipes for special dietary requirements and even try out suggested ideas using his own expertise. The food had so much flavour with all our guests commenting on how outstanding it was. Teresa did a marvelous job as maitre d’ ensuring the whole event went without a hitch. Would I use Blackwells again?……………in a heart beat. ” Kindest regards, Laura and Danny Yallop
All in all, a traditional, no frills, Essex farm shop - It’s right up our street, putting quality and people above all else, and really getting back to provenance. Have a look at their website to find out more! http://www.blackwellsfarmproduce.co.uk