New farm shop wins support from bank

BANKERS still see opportunities for new farm shops, it seems.

Yorkshire Bank has been boasting about its support for the latest, the Lawns Farm Shop in Morthen, between Rotherham and Sheffield, opened by AE Ross & Son, a family business which has farmed 200 acres at the village for more than 60 years.

The shop is managed by Anthony Ross, 24, who studied forensic and analytical science at Sheffield Hallam University but returned home to work the farm with his father, David, and elder brother, Christopher. The land was acquired by the younger generation’s grandfather, Alfred Edwin Ross, in the 1940s.

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Produce from the farm and other local sources include duck eggs, home-made cakes and preserves, cheeses, breads and handmade chocolates.

The farm itself runs beef and dairy cattle, a range of poultry and a growing herd of mainly rare-breed and traditional pigs.

The shop is open Tuesday to Sunday.

Anthony said this week: “Yorkshire Bank’s agribusiness team provided support for us to set up the new venture and we’re pleased to have their backing at a time when many banks are still not lending to new businesses. We are already on course to exceed our projected turnover.”

Oliver Maxey, agribusiness partner at Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Lincoln, said: “Although they are proliferating, farm shops can become very successful if the proprietors and the premises are appealing and appropriate.

“It is paramount that the owners understand what customers want and that they source local produce wherever possible.

“The Ross’s approach to their farm shop has been very good and they have engaged professional help to ensure they are already building up a loyal following.”