So what do we do when you don’t see us at the front of the shop or on the farm? Helen does spend a lot of her time in her office, especially since taking on the farm projects in the last 2 years.  So much paperwork!  But a lot of her time during 2020/2021was spent being part of a research group for Sheffield University.

Dr Krywoszynska is a university director studying sustainable food and farming.  Her research paper looks at how Covid has influenced consumer habits and whether the return to shopping with independent stores is here to stay.  We feel people have started to shop with us more often. We loved providing an essential service to you all during the tough times of the pandemic and your appreciation made all of our hard work so much easier. We thank you for your support.

We shall again be part of the continuing study in 2023 to assess any shift, or whether shoppers return completely to their old habits. Moving in to 2022 and out of a pandemic we are faced with many other world and economic problems.  Anna’s research will undoubtedly be clouded by so many of these other factors – Brexit, inflation, the war in the Ukraine and much more. It goes without saying this is a time of huge uncertainty. Maybe we just all need a little bit of comfort and security in our lives – and our community really is our bubble. We are so lucky to live in a great place.

We believe that rural independent retailers should be at the heart of the community and not just a destination (think garden centre with coffee shop). Food shopping is an essential part of life, but isn’t it so much nicer not to travel too far, see a friendly face and know you are supporting local businesses and farmers?  Our Google reviews always refer to our friendly service and we are very proud of this. With so many problems in the world right now staying local feels comfortable. 

I left work as a solicitor during the pandemic to help at the farm shop. I could see how important it was to be part of the community and I am now here to stay as part of the farm shop team.

Helen will be busily making notes throughout 2022 before the next round of research in 2023.  She is keen to keep the researchers entertained by always conducting her video diary about the farm shop whilst in the pig paddocks!  The research team being particularly amused when a pig knocked her over during one of the sessions. Lightened the mood a little!

James Baird

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