You may have heard of the village of Catthorpe before. It is just off the M6 / M1 / A14 junction on the Leicestershire / Northamptonshire/ Warwickshire border. Before they changed the junction, you’d always hear about traffic on the Catthorpe Interchange, especially on a Friday night!
Anyhow, I recently caught up with the owners of Manor Farm at Catthorpe, The Grindal family, who run a successful farm shop, tea room and campsite.
Here’s a little bit more information on what they produce and how you can find out more.
How long has Manor Farm been a farm shop at Catthorpe and what do you specialise in?
Manor Farm started life as a tiny shop selling fruit cakes and potatoes in the 70’s and the main shop opened in the 90’s. We have extended and grown every year since to what we are today! We specialise in growing, rearing and making our own produce. With particular emphasis on our rare breed meats; Leicester Longwool lamb, British Lop pork and British White beef.
We make all our own meals, pies and cakes using our own produce and the food we serve in the Farmhouse Kitchen utilises our produce too. We grow potatoes, asparagus, soft fruits, vegetables and pumpkins.
Did you diversify from traditional farming to include the farm shop?
Yes we used to just grow potatoes and crops as well as having some livestock. Since the main shop has opened, we no longer grow crops on the farm and only rear the rare breed animals solely for the farm shop.
The farm shop has grown over the last few years. What have been your main successes?
The Farmhouse Kitchen has been the most successful aspect of the business; attracting customers from all over the UK, especially when travelling. Being able to link what we grow on the farm with the kitchen and then offering the chance for customers to buy what they have just eaten in the shop is what we aim for….full circle!
We are very proud of rearing the rare breeds due to their scarcity and plan to continue building the breeds every year. The Beer Barn is another aspect of the shop that has been really successful. The room is full of lots of locally made beers, wines and ciders; we have one of the best selections in the county.
Have there been any bumps in the road?
Like all businesses we have encountered bumps! At present it’s the extortionate electric prices (£7500 per month from £1200), the last few years we have had to cope with the pandemic and in previous years we have over come the outbreak of foot and mouth and everything else that mother natures throws at us!
We are very weather dependent, so we keep a close eye on predictions; the hot summer of 2022 meant that our soft fruit crop was much smaller than usual and the cold weather recently has had an affect on our vegetables. Generally though, we plough on and take what comes!
What can people expect to see or do at Manor Farm Shop?
A REAL farm shop…..we are a working farm retailing our own produce. So think rustic charm, homegrown produce and expect a very warm welcome. We have the main farm shop, Farmhouse Kitchen serving food seven days a week, our campsite is open March-October and we also have two independent shops on site too; The Pink Peony florist and gift shop and Catthorpe Loft who sell home and garden ware and gifts
How can people find out more or follow you?
Our website is – www.manorfarmcatthorpe.co.uk
Facebook – www.facebook.com/Manorfarmshopandtearoom
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/manorfarmcatthorpe/