Putting the zest back into their farm food shop
Business partners Jo O’Boyle and Jenny Spencer have worked their wonders on an “unloved” farm shop in the village of Wickham St Paul.
The friends took over Spencer’s Farm Shop in March and have just won an award for the top farm shop in Essex.
Jo, who moved to the village from Buckinghamshire, has extensive experience of retailing and food marketing.
She and Jenny ran a candle-making company together and, when the opportunity came up to run Jenny’s family’s farm shop, they jumped at the chance.
Jo said: “The shop has seen some big ups and downs during its trading history and more recently in March was taken back over into family hands when Jenny and I took on the business.
“We had a big job on our hands getting it back to its former glory, but now customers tell us the shop feels loved.
“It was quite bare when we started but we’ve re-stocked it with fresh, locally-sourced produce, and we’ve improved the layout and introduced family-friendly space with more for children to do.”
Jo said a huge range of soft fruit and apples comes from Jenny’s family’s local fruit business, Wickham Fruit Farm.
The shop is holding an apple day on October 22, from 11am to 3pm, when visitors can press their own shop-bought apples into juice. A Christmas wreath-making workshop is also being held in November.