Talking Shop: meet destination food hall Macknade

14 June 2021, 07:07 AM
  • Speciality Food speaks to Shane Godwin, managing director of Macknade, to find out about the shop's esteemed history and his proudest achievements
Talking Shop: meet destination food hall Macknade

Macknade is and always has been a family-run business. Originally a farm, the business has diversified and the Macknade name is now synonymous with Kent’s Favourite Food Halls. With two stores, one in Faversham (on the site of the original farm) and a new venture in Ashford, in the centre of the town where a cattle market once stood, Macknade stays true to its roots, showcasing Mediterranean and English produce, through its food halls and online.

Who’s in the farm shop team?

I’m Shane Godwin, the managing director at Macknade and I’m lucky to head up a team of over 120 passionate, like minded people who are always striving to engage with each other, our suppliers and our customers. Our team is a wonderful blend of individuals. Some are new and others have been in the business for a substantial amount of time, but all of them truly understand what Macknade is all about.

What sets Macknade apart from other independent retailers?

Community is at our core. We not only place our customers at the heart of our decisions, but also our team, suppliers and stakeholders, all of which have key roles in enabling us to deliver spaces that bring people together over a shared love of food and drink.

What are you most proud of?

Without a doubt, it’s our incredible team who have risen to the challenge of dealing with the global pandemic, moving swiftly to diversify or learning new skills to help out in other areas of the business whilst team members were on furlough. Everyone has really done their part to ensure that not only have we survived, but continued to be a valuable linchpin in our communities.

What challenges have you experienced recently, and how have you overcome them?

During the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, protecting jobs for each and every member of the team has been and will continue to be, at the heart of our decisions. Like a lot of businesses juggling and managing their teams through this time has proved challenging and it has been no different for us. Managing staff effectively across the various aspects of the business so that we can continue to deliver our strategic goals and aims has been no mean feat but we’re getting there and like everyone else, we’re looking forward to further restrictions being lifted so we can safely open all our spaces once again.

What’s next for Macknade?

Macknade is set on a course to grow and develop in the future as we continue to seek out great opportunities that can enable us to reach and grow like minded communities, whilst we will continue to champion positive change in the supply chain.

Macknade through the years

1847 - Frederick Neame Snr, was the first to bring the family to Faversham, Kent. The family farmed the land for many years and Macknade Farm was one of the region’s leading fruit and vegetable growers, nationally renowned for its hard fruit, hops and livestock. This continued for five generations.
1947 - Pears from the Macknade orchards were served at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to the late Phillip Mountbatten.

1979 - Patricia Neame (Frederick’s great-great-grandaughter) opened Fir Tree P.Y.O on the corner of the family farm. Patricia does this with her husband Renato Cuomo, an Italian native – originally from the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples.

2001 - Macknade stops farming altogether and focusses solely on retail.

2011 - The café opens, encouraging Macknade shoppers to sit and enjoy quality food with friends and family in-store, a community is building.

2013 - Stefano, Patricia & Renato’s son, becomes managing director, the sixth generation to own and run Macknade.

2016 - The butchery opens, this year celebrating its fifth birthday and growing offer.

2018 - Macknade opens the Deck, the outdoor dining area in Faversham.

2019 - Introduction of Unpackaged at Macknade and an even greater commitment to more sustainable practices.

2020 - Macknade’s second store opens in Elwick Place offering 8,000sqft of retail and dining space in Ashford.

2021 - Shane Godwin takes over as managing director and Stefano Cuomo becomes CEO

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