A well-known farmers’ market trader whose business was put on hold during lockdown is thriving again because of community demand.
Sarah Stone has been a familiar face in Chepstow for 19 years with her popular stall selling homemade meat pies, bread, cakes and pastries.
But she was left wondering what the future would hold when trading was forced to stop at the end of March,
However, customers were still wanting to buy her goods. So Sarah, her husband Howard and their daughter Hannah decided to open a farm shop in the summerhouse at the bottom of their garden.
“We went into lockdown and it could have been very easy to pack everything in,” said Mrs Stone.
“Yet I soon found myself working harder than ever to keep up with community demand for baking and deliveries.
“We decided to turn a negative into a positive and came up with the brainwave of a farm shop, which our daughter Hannah enjoyed serving in throughout lockdown.”
Newchurch farm shop at Church Farm in Newchurch, near Chepstow, opened its doors on 1 May and champions local producers.
Alongside farmhouse bakes, the shop also stocks fruit and vegetables, eggs, honey, jams, preserves, ice-cream, milk, cream, yoghurts and fresh meat - all sourced from the surrounding area.
Business is booming and quickly outgrew the summerhouse. With winter fast approaching and more space needed, the shop has moved to converted stables on the farm.
Monmouth MP David Davies officially cut the ribbon.
“Many like me will have enjoyed Sarah’s homemade food at the farmers’ market in Chepstow,” he said.
“Lockdown unfortunately meant stalls had to close. But the Stone family were not going to be defeated and their endeavour has certainly paid off.
“The farm shop looks fantastic and has a wonderful array of local produce. If you are ever in the vicinity, don’t forget to look in”.
Mrs Stone said she is now planning to stock the shop with plenty of delicious festive treats, including Christmas cakes, Yule logs, chocolates and local farm-reared free range turkeys. Orders are already being taken.
"It's been amazing,” she added.
“We’ve had fabulous support and wish to thank every single person who has visited the shop, respected social distancing guidelines, made purchases and chatted such words of encouragement.”
Opening hours are 10am-3pm Tuesday to Thursday and 10am-4pm Friday and Saturday.
For further information, please contact Sarah Stone on 07850 401 869.