Retailer of the Month – Middle Farm
Enjoying a strategic location off the A27 near Firle, East Sussex, Middle Farm is far more than a farm shop.
The site also boasts an open farm that is home to some of the friendliest farm animals around. These include rabbits and guinea pigs, traditional and rare breed chickens, pigs, llamas, goats and sheep. The farm holds timed events throughout the day, with the prize-winning herd of pedigree Jersey cows being milked each afternoon. There is also a picnic area and a nature trail around the farm.
If that was not enough, Middle Farm is also home to The National Collection of Cider & Perry: a unique celebration of the UK’s national fruit. Here visitors can taste, compare and buy from a range of over 100 different draught ciders and perries. As well as a huge range of meads, country wines and fruit liqueurs, the Collection offers a range of draught and bottled ales, English cider brandies, apple gin, apple vodka and apple eaux-de-vie. Fresh apple juice is pressed daily and an apple-pressing service is offered in the late summer and autumn.
Alongside the café/restaurant and gift shop, the Farm Shop is a massive draw in its own right. Helen Marsh and her dedicated and enthusiastic team care passionately about service and the quality of produce offered. For over 50 years, Middle Farm has grown, raised, made and selected the finest meat, cheese, dressings, pickles, preserves, ice-cream, fruit, vegetables and even confectionery from like-minded small-scale producers.
Middle Farm is proud to hold more Sussex produce than any other retailer anywhere. As Goupie can testify, close relationships with suppliers is something Middle Farm takes very seriously. If the buyers cannot find what they want in Sussex, they seek out the very best of farm and farmhouse produce from throughout the British Isles.
The shop has a very appealing delicatessen, that stocks 25 Sussex cheeses among more than 80 different British cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses.
Middle Farm’s own range of jams, marmalades and chutneys still grace the shelves of the farm shop as they have since 1960. Middle Farm also supports local beekeepers by supplying a range of local honey, both raw and pasteurised.
Middle Farm’s traditional butcher specialises in additive-free meat and poultry, including the farm’s own grass-fed beef, as well as it’s famous tomahawk steaks, pork and lamb. The butchery also makes 20 different varieties of sausage seasonally and holds a wide range of cured bacon and other charcuterie. Local game, such as venison, pheasant, rabbit, pigeon and wild boar, is also available when in season.
Customer feedback tells it’s own story.
“I frequent Middle Farm on a regular basis. The farm shop is very well run and the food excellent in so many ways.”
“Middle Farm has great staff, along with an amazing Farm shop with top quality meat, beautiful vegetables and awesome unpasteurised milk. Great for buying gifts and apple juice too. Well run and wonderful!”
“This place is really great excellent for families, couples and people on their own as well. It never fails to amaze me with the produce, and the warm and inviting staff.“
“It seemed that whichever member of staff you encountered had that genuine feelgood factor that they were only to happy to pass on to you. None of your ‘Have A Nice Day’ American synthetic sincerity … this was the real thing.”
Little wonder, then, that Middle Farm is regularly listed among the finest farm shops in the UK. It is a reputation hard-earned but well deserved.