Published: 09:42, 20 November 2020
| Updated: 09:44, 20 November 2020
A popular farm shop is opening its first off-site branch in a long-empty unit on Ashford’s high street.
Little Farthingloe Farm has traded from a shop at its base in Folkestone Road, Dover, since 1982.
Owner Howard Richardson - whose family has owned the farm for 35 years - is on a mission to make fresh fruit and veg easier to find, and hopes his new Ashford site opposite the former M&S store will aid that goal.
“We felt the British public is increasingly talking about finding and eating fresh foods, but often you can’t find it in supermarkets,” he said.
“Often the food there has gone through a warehouse, and been wrapped in plastic to keep it good for longer.
“We believe it should be on shelves as soon as possible and easily accessible to as many people as possible.
“It’s an important part of the diet not only for adults but also children, and the quicker the distribution the better.”
Taking over the long-empty EE phone shop unit, which had been earmarked for a new Subway, the first items will be available to buy in two to three weeks.
Brown paper bags will be used over plastic, and it’s promised to be a much more traditional shopping experience.
Mr Richardson said: “It’s an experiment to see if the people of Ashford feel the same way as us and will support our project.
“We believe in the high street if it’s got the right mix of shops, and we hope to be a part of that.”
On offer will be a full range of produce, including Kentish apples and vegetables from Ash near Sandwich.
The owner admitted that its bakery products will be coming in after Christmas, and that its best-selling pies will require some more thought to deliver to its Ashford branch.
“We’ve been passionate about this fresh food issue for 20 to 30 years,” Mr Richardson added.
“The people of Ashford deserve access to properly fresh food and currently supermarkets just can’t provide that, whereas we can.”