Surprise bash marks three decades for Southbourne farm store

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SOUTHBOURNE Farm Shop celebrated its 30 years in style at the weekend, with a surprise party that reunited its founder, Chris Bulbeck, with past and present members of staff.

Chris’ son Jason spent six months organising the celebration at the Pavilion Tea Rooms at Stansted and gathered about 50 people from the shop’s history together. The party included a hog roast and local bakers Blossom and Crumb produced a sponge cake in the shape of the shop.

Jason, 46, said his dad suspected nothing and said he was totally shocked by the number of people who turned up. “He keeps thanking me, and that it was so great to see everyone’s faces – some people who he had not seen for 20 years. He didn’t think to do anything himself – he’s just a typical farmer, who grew up milking the cows before he went to school.”

Chris, 71, set up Southbourne Farm Shop in one of his chicken sheds in 1982, with a shoe box as
a till.