See the history over the years and how the farmshop has grown from 1995 into what it is today.
1995 - Purchase of Mainsgill Farm
Newly married in 1995, we moved from Lancashire to Mainsgill Farm. It was a small 57 acre farm set up to fatten intensive pigs (1,200) and beef cattle. At that time we also reared dairy replacements. Mainsgill was purchased with aspirations of farming in our own right.
1997 - Started to sell our own produce
Being a young couple setting up, we were highly mortgaged and with a downturn in all sectors of the farming industry through BSE, Blue Ear, etc it was a difficult time. Highly mortgaged, increasing debts and ever decreasing cash flow, we had to find a way to survive and repay our debts. A local butcher slaughtered and cut our own home produced meats in 1997. We would pack our own meats on the kitchen table and go door to door selling in the local villages.
1998 - Our first shop (Converted Garage)
As sales grew steadily, we pursued permission to build a stone built farm shop with our local authority. Many hurdles had to be crossed, especially with Highway Agency as our entrance leads directly onto the main A66. With successfully gaining permission in 1999.
At this time we had converted the garage at the side of the house to form a small shop and preparation room. We took on a part time butcher on an evening to cut our meat due to narrow margins. We packed the meat into the early hours as we had farm work to do during the day.
2001 - Purpose built farmshop completed
Diversification at that time was a new concept, and it was the direction we took to survive. After restructuring the business finances and new support was gained we commenced building in February 2001, then foot and mouth outbreak occurred. The build was completed and opened in June of that same year.
2006 - First Expansion Farmshop & Tearoom
2007 - Second Expansion Dedicated Butchery & Gift Shop
As the buisness grew we also out grew the Butchery. We added the second expansion to increase the work area for the butchers in order to keep up with demand. We also housed our very first gift shop with the total extension of an additional 2,700 sq ft. We tested the water for a giftshop along with locking in many of the suppliers we still use today.
2013 - New Road Junction
Due to the expansion of the Farmshop and the number of visitors in order to keep growing the buisness we had to add the new road junction. Making it much safer for our visitors. This was something Mainsgill had to work alongside highways.
2014 - Third Expansion two storey granary build retail space
In 2014, Mainsgill saw the completion of a two storey extension, creating a total floor space of 20,000 sq ft. Catering for a Farmshop with Tearoom, Butchery, Deli and Gift Hall. And employing up to 50 staff.
2019 - The family are now farming over 645 acres
With the children interested in farming Jack back on the farm after completing Agricultural College, Rachel baking in the farmshop and out on the farm whenever possible and Matthew studying Agricultural Engineering. We have being lucky to buy and rent further land to increase our acreage to over 645. Now rearing sheep and having our own suckler herd.
2020 - Covid Lockdown
2020 was a difficult year for all however we strived to adapt our business to help the community. With our tearoom and gift hall closed, we kept our staff busy helping provide a local food delivery service.
2020 - Two storey extension
During the year of covid lockdown and restrictions, our team of local tradesmen, suppliers and our team here at Mainsgill built and opened the latest extension in November 2020. The two storey extension houses extended retail space upstairs for clothing and gift department, with extended foodhall downstairs, with new chekout and toilet area. We also had a kitchen expansion with new food processing machinery which is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
2021 - New Farm Buildings
As we are still a traditional farm providing all our home reared beef, pork and lamb. In 2021 we built some additional cattle sheds and silage clamps at the other farm.
2022 - Additional Land
In 2022 Mainsgill were lucky enough to become tenant's of a neighbouring farm. This has allowed Mainsgill to become even more sustainable as we can grow all our own crops to feed the livestock. Now farming over 1,200 acres.