The new farm shop development is progressing nicely, with concrete flooring due to be laid this week. Once that has dried, we need temperatures to warm up a bit in order for the bricklayers to get under way. There will be a lot of bricks, and the lime mortar does not respond well to freezing conditions.
We will have a timber frame using Douglas Fir from the estate, with pillars and beams that need to be cut, tested and then assembled. Then we have the roof, flooring, plumbing and electrics before we can start fitting out the shop with retail fridges and units, equipping the butchery and the kitchen. We are expecting to start our fit out in early July if all goes well, aiming to open in early August.
In the meantime, Sam and I are raising finances for all our equipment and stock. There are grant applications to be finalized, and our crowd-funding via the kickstarter platform will launch mid-February if all goes well.
We will be asking for your support – word of mouth being the most important. If all our existing customers can persuade a friend or two to come and visit the new farm shop this summer, that will make a huge difference. If you can spare money towards crowd-funding, then you will help to build a food hub that will create jobs and which will promote local producers, farmers and fishermen. In return, you will get a shop full of seasonal produce that comes from the surrounding farms, woods, boats and kitchens. We will all be able to taste, learn about and buy food from the South Downs and Coast.
We will keep you posted on developments on a regular basis from now on, and in particular the launch of our crowdfunding campaign in February.