Farm shop shuts

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A farm shop selling fresh seasonal produce in Hadleigh has been forced to close its doors after 14 years of trading.

Partridge’s Farm Shop in High Street shut for the last time on Saturday.

The family-run business sold a range of fruit and vegetables, dairy products and preserves – the majority of which came from nearby farmers and independent producers.

Owner Charles Partridge said the shop had employed seven workers.

“It is one of those things,” said the 44-year-old. “Nobody can afford to run something that is not going well.”

The closure comes a matter of weeks after a planning application to build a Tesco supermarket on the former Brett Works site was tuned down. This was due to concerns over the impact the store would have on independent shops.

Mr Partridge said he believed another supermarket, Morrisons – which opened on the Buyright site in January – had played a part in the farm shop’s demise.

“In general, we have noticed a reduction in trade since Morrisons opened,” he said.

“The problem is the High Street can be completely dead on some days and it is not as bustling as it used to be.”

Mr Partridge said another business has already agreed to lease the building, and would be opening soon. He said the family would continue farming in Layham, where they have been for more than 100 years.

Hadleigh resident Anita Young said she was sorry to see the long-established business go.

“Its future had been uncertain for a while and it is a blow,” she said. “We don’t have another farm shop.”

Mrs Young, who campaigned against Tesco, said the opening of Morrisons had affected a number of the town’s shops.

Mixers Retail Ltd, known as The Beer Barrel, also shut recently.

“It has gone very quiet since Morrisons, and shops are struggling,” she added.