31 January 2011, 22:20 PM
  • Steve Croot, owner of Croots Farm Shop near Duffield in Derbyshire, plans for the future.

At the start of the year, when it tends to be a bit quieter, we use any spare time we have to plan ahead. So January’s the time to choose which trade shows we are going to attend, what events we want to run, which awards we fancy entering, and to draw up our PR plan for the year. I find it’s good to focus on the future. This year we want to continue developing the outside of Croots, with plans to open up our plant-growing area so that customers can walk round and choose their own herbs, salad leaves and perennial plants.

We’re big supporters of Farmhouse Breakfast Week, and used the occasion during January to launch our new Croots Breakfast Pie featuring bacon, sausage, egg, mushroom and beans.  We also ran a few offers and served up all-day breakfasts in our café. As well as being an excellent campaign to help us promote specific products, Farmhouse Breakfast Week seems to capture the public’s imagination and I was delighted when I was invited to talk on a local radio station about all things breakfast related.

During 2010 we supported two very different charities – Treats, which is a local children’s charity, and the Shire Horse Sociey, due to the farm’s long association with Shire horses. At the start of January I totted up how much customers and staff had helped us to collect, and it came to £450 for Treats and £400 for the Shire Horse Society, which was fantastic. We’ve decided to keep both as our adopted charities for 2011 and are already planning some fund-raising events.