Boss Lady

Setting up shop on the farm; A guide to selling your organic produce


So, you’re a savvy business woman with a green thumb, and instead of only growing and selling to suppliers; you want to create a hub on your land, and set up shop. With the current emphasis and popularity of healthy, organic produce; now is the time to strike and build a farm shop that people will want to travel to from far and wide. However big or small you want your empire to be; the following are some key areas that you’ll want to take care of during the setting-up process.

Your produce

You don’t need to be told how to grow your fruit and vegetables; you’ve obviously learned all the necessary skills needed to produce a healthy crop of delicious produce. However, you will need to think what exactly you plan to stock each season in your new establishment and, in fact, whether or not it will be feasible to run the whole year round. Plan your inventory month by month, so that you have a thorough annual business plan (and contingency, should issues arise) to move forward with.

Consider the surrounding farms and their owners; if eggs and cheese aren’t your specialities, then stock the local edibles from the area. Plants and flowers, arts, and crafts, from local suppliers and creatives, are another way to ensure that your farm shop is brimming with interest and reasons for people to stop by. Check out the famous Maggie Beer’s farm shop, for some inspiration on what to stock.

Your environment

Whether you’re converting an old barn or building afresh; it’s crucial that you consult a reputable commercial construction company for help, advice, and their services. If your building doesn’t meet the criteria for a store and fails it’s health and safety checks; you’ll fail before you’ve even opened the doors, so plan wisely. Customers enjoy plenty of light and space to move around, and you’ll want to display your organic delights with pride, so ensure that your windows and light fittings do their job.

With an emphasis on health and organic produce; you’ll need to display your fruit and veg in an appropriate fashion. Consider using crates and other items from the farm in your visual merchandising, and refrain from traditional stickers to display prices; use handwritten chalkboards and wooden signs instead. You want your shop to feel warm and inviting, so a clinical supermarket theme won’t work well. For some more ideas on how to arrange and display items, take a look here.

Your marketing

If nobody knows you’ve opened, you’re unlikely to have a successful farm shop. Encourage all of your fellow suppliers to promote your new store across their social media and websites, and make sure you’ve set up your own online presence and are regularly updating and posting things. The more potential customers know about your skills, produce, and your personal journey; the more likely they are to take a trip and invest in what you do.

Organise a launch party and an opening event to remember, make sure that all the right people are invited and give them plenty of samples and tasters of what you have on offer, and ensure that word will spread. Don’t be afraid to shout about your business and promote it as much as possible; you’ve worked so hard to get here after all.

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