Meon Valley family farm shop Westlands in Wickham relaunched with eco-friendly refill stations
This article was published in The Portsmouth News: https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/business/meon-valley-family-farm-shop-west…
A FAMILY farm shop in the heart of the Meon Valley has relaunched after a £60,000 refurbishment.
Westlands Farm Shop at Pricketts Hill near Wickham has expanded into its former tea room to create space for a new delicatessen, self-serve refill stations and more room for fruit and veg from the farm.
Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond cut the ribbon to officially launch the new look shop on Saturday.
The upgrade came about after the farm was forced to reevaluate its business model as coronavirus restrictions meant its tea room became unviable – and sales at its farm shop soared.
Kayleigh Collett, who runs the farm with her husband Graham and his parents, said: ‘We have been a bit cramped for space in the farm shop as the demand for more ethically-produced and locally-sourced products has continued during and after the Covid-19 lockdown.
‘We felt that we could make better use of the space where the tea room used to be by having a wider range of products that were more aligned with our own ethical and environmental priorities.’
Now, as well as continuing to sell its own hand-reared free-range beef and lamb, along with locally sourced free-range game, pork, seasonal meats, fresh bread, cheese, wine and gifts, it will also stock a range of packaging-free refillable items such as cleaning products, frozen fruit and veg and dried goods.
Home-grown strawberries and raspberries will still be available too.
Kayleigh said: ‘We wanted to offer more but reduce the reliance on plastics and packaging. That’s why we have gone for the refill stations where people can buy as little or as much as they need and fill their own containers.’
One of the latest instalments that’s proving a hit with shoppers is the fresh milk vending machine, which sees milk brought in daily from Meon Valley Milk, a farm in Southwick.
Kayleigh said: ‘We are especially pleased to be able to offer fresh Meon Valley Milk from a vending machine - people can refill their own bottles with milk that comes from cows a couple of miles away while cutting down further on the need to have plastic or more glass bottles.’
Westlands has also teamed up with family run company Fill to supply no-waste biodegradable and environmentally responsible cleaning products.
Kayleigh said the hard work gone into creating the new look shop has paid off.
She said: ‘We have been at the heart of the Meon Valley for two generations now providing the produce of our farm and other local suppliers direct to the public and we are delighted that we are able to continue to do that in an even better and more comfortable environment for all shoppers.’