Ystwyth Farm Shop & Tea Room
Why a Farm Shop & Tea Room? Well, there are several reasons...
Food security - we're all becoming painfully aware of just how precarious our food industry is (and, of course, how monopolised it has become) and we believe that the way to change this is to not only grow our own where and when we can, but to source what we cannot (or don't want to) grow or produce ourselves as locally as possible.
Seasonality - we've gotten so used to having strawberries in the December, and apples in May... not only does that put a huge amount of strain on growers who have to try to keep up with these demands that nature does NOT willingly support (meaning greater demands for chemical aids and huge energy expenditures) but it also means that we're eating crops that are forced, pesticide-laden and just plain blah. They don't hold a candle in terms of taste to the real thing, grown at the right time, ripened on the vine/tree and picked fresh.
Healthier food - Science has proven that foods grown in their right season and allowed to ripen naturally are higher in anti-oxidants and other beneficial compounds, as well as being much easier to grow! That coupled with the fact that they're not irradiated, waxed, chilled, flown or shipped around the world etc and it's easy to see why it's a much healthier choice. And did we mention they taste better...?
A meeting place for the community - recently our local cafe (the Cwtch) shut again and it's not looking to be reopening any time soon :( This has left a void in the community that we hope to fill - not just to supply cups of tea in a pretty location, but also to put on regular events that provide socialisation and fun in an otherwise rather remote and isolated area. During our first year, our Spring Festival, Artisan Fairs, Crochet, Knit & Natter group, and Christmas market were all well attended and we feel the time is right to get that going again! Begone with ye, covid! We're all a bit starved for some community spirit and social relaxation with more than the people in our bubbles.
A place to sell our Market Garden produce - let's face it, a poly tunnel is NOT a place to have freshly picked produce sitting out in the sun and heat... Once we decided to go ahead with the market garden idea we knew we'd need some way to chill the produce eventually - for now we just cut / pick it fresh on demand when the customer arrives, but it's labour-intensive... It would be much simpler to be able to harvest the day's goods and then put in a fridge for people to help themselves!
The plan is simple... But not exactly easy!
Prepare the ground and create the Tea Garden & seating areas, as well as the space where the intended building will go. This part of the project is mostly a hands-on job that requires digging, landscaping, planting up and laying pathways and is something we're working on now (follow us on social media - click on the Instagram or Facebook icons above - to get updates on our progress!).
Put in a building. The building we have chosen for it's structural integrity (vital in our climate!), space, orientation and design can be seen to the left (or below of you're on a mobile) and "all-in" is currently quoted at £10k.
Installing electrics, plumbing & solar system. Whether we need to add to our current solar array will depend on the electrical units we source and the power they demand. Therefore the fridges and freezer, water pump, water heater, dishwasher and other small units like LED lights will need to be installed at the same time.
Furnishing the store. We intend for our store to be a shabby-chic country-kitchen style affair, and we're aiming to source as much of the furniture, cups, mugs, tea pots and other items from charity shops (and other second-hand sources) as possible. While it would be good marketing to have our logo on specially designed mugs, that cost has to be recouped somehow, and we don't think it's worth it if we have to charge £2.50 for a cup of tea! Plus, we want it to have a homely and comfortable feel - we'd like our customers to feel welcome and comfy enough to sit awhile and relax.
Stock. This is where our local bounty will start to show itself! We'll need suppliers who can consistently provide fresh goods such as bread, milk, cheese, veg, fruit, eggs and meat, as well as those who can supply store-cupboard foods like jam, chutneys, and other preserves. Alongside these locally produced foods, we also plan to stock a small range of other everyday essentials that we'll try to source as close to home as humanly possible - tea, coffee, washing up liquid, toilet paper and so on, and (while not technically essential) beers and wines.
Grand Opening Party! Live music, champagne & nibbles essential - let's hope the project will finish during the warmer months!
The area where the shop will be sited and the Tea Garden & seating areas will be created.
The building we have chosen :)
Some inspiration for the style we're aiming for!
How Can You Help Us?
If you think you can help in any way at all - whether it's donating some money, a few hours of your time, your skill or trade, building resources, old furniture that may be useful in the shop or anything else you may think of - we'd love to hear from you! Please drop us an email here or if you'd like to donate cash, click on the PayPal button below. Every bit helps and is greatly appreciated.
If you produce any goods that could be sold in the farm shop, be sure to give us your details when you get in touch and links to any of your social media or other online presence. And of course, please do spread the word! Send a link to this page to anyone you know who may be interested in our project or able to help in some way.
Diolch yn fawr! Thank you so much!