Great British Bake Off presenter Prue Leith cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the new Stansted Park Farm Shop on Saturday.
Despite the rain, the event saw hundreds turn out to visit the new shop, meet local producers of food and drink at the courtyard market, and watch a demonstration from chef, author, television presenter and founder of Wahaca Thomasina Miers, as well as to see the famous cook officially open the shop.
Fred Duncannon is co-owner of the Stansted Park Farm Shop, along with Sam Edden. Fred said: “It’s great to have such a wonderful turnout of customers and producers at our official launch. We are honoured to have Prue Leith open the shop, and help us to celebrate the incredible food and drink producers of Sussex and Hampshire.”
The new Stansted Farm Shop is an expansion of the old shop. It now stocks food and drink from more than 92 different producers based within 30 miles of their doorstep, and the shop has a full butchery counter of local game and meat, a deli counter with homemade meats, pastries and award-winning cheeses, and a shop full of produce.
The new Stansted Park Farm Shop was partly funded by a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter which raised £35,000 from more than 270 backers.
Prue Leith said: “It’s wonderful to see so much fantastic, locally produced food and drink in one beautiful building. This shop is a fantastically good example of a community shop. I’m a strong believer in small businesses and innovation as the future of this country - Brexit or no Brexit, people have to eat. ”
The new farm shop was fitted out with partial funding from a Coast to Capital LEADER grant, a scheme which is part of the Rural Development Programme for England. This is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The shop is also supporting a local charity, The Sussex Snowdrop Trust, who provide vital nursing care for children with life threatening and terminal illnesses in their homes, with fundraising events taking place at the Stansted Park Farm Shop throughout the year.
For more information about the shop, visit www.stanstedfarmshop.com.