8 of the best farm shops in Wales

27 June 2024, 10:19 AM
  • From sprawling estates to small sustainable farms, discover the inspiring stories of some of the best farm shops in Wales
8 of the best farm shops in Wales

Whether it’s succulent lamb or vibrant, green leeks, Wales is synonymous with food and farming. From the north coast to the south, and all the rolling hills and valleys in between, Speciality Food has rounded up some of the region’s best farm shops. These shops not only inspire customers about the possibilities of local produce, but they’re also pushing the envelope on traditional and organic farming. Discover their stories below. 

Do you think your Welsh farm shop belongs on our list? Get in touch!

Rhug Estate

Location: Corwen, Denbighshire
Shop hours: Every day, 9am-5pm

After taking over Rhug Estate farm in 1998 following the death of his father, Lord Newborough has grown the Rhug into one of the largest organic farms in the UK, and a true icon of field-to-fork food. Set within 12,500 acres, the estate continues to innovate, including pushing for higher standards of sustainability with the adoption of green energy, compostable and recyclable packaging and low food miles in recent years.

A champion of Welsh produce, the estate’s farm shop stocks more than 3,000 products that have been hand selected to showcase the best local and organic food, including its own organic beef, lamb, chicken, pork, turkey and goose. Rhug Estate rears two types of Welsh lamb. Organic salt marsh sheep graze on special grasses and herbs washed by the sea in the winter, such as sea lavender, samphire, sorrel, and more. These give the meat a distinctive, sweet, light flavour. While organic Welsh inland sheep graze on lush grass and pastures sowed with a special selection of herbs and grasses. This lamb boasts PGI status and is recognised as some of the best in the world.

The shop is also known for its butcher’s counter, which is stocked with fresh Rhug Organic meat every day. Shoppers can buy everything from an organic rack of Welsh lamb to traditionally dry cured bacon. At the deli counter, there’s a fine selection of Welsh, British and Continental cheeses, plus charcuterie, roasted meats and handmade pies and quiches.

In addition to fresh produce, customers can buy a selection of beers, wines and spirits, as well as Rhug Estate’s own Wild Beauty skincare collection, or enjoy an afternoon in one of the on-site eateries - Café Rhug for a relaxing coffee and cake, On the Hoof takeaway for grab-and-go options, or the Drive Thru, which was a first-of-its-kind innovation by Rhug Estate. 

Forage Farm Shop

Location: Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan
Shop hours: Every day, 9am-5pm

Located on Penllyn Estate, Forage Farm Shop has been farmed by the Homfray family since 1846. Today, the farm grows feed wheat, oil seed rape, maize and vegetables, alongside a livestock operation focusing on rearing cattle, sheep and pigs, as well as free-range chickens. The family’s ambition was always to have a high-quality shop and restaurant on site from which to sell meat from the animals reared on the farm, but various obstacles since the 1980s prevented the dream from becoming a reality. That all changed in 2020, when Forage finally opened. 

Today, the farm shop sells fully traceable, seasonal and local produce wherever possible – including from the estate. The farm’s own meat high welfare, sustainable meat is a highlight for customers, and the butchery counter at the back of the farm shop is the place to go not only for succulent meat but also for advice and inspiration from the experienced team.

The butchery sells Penllyn Estate’s native breed Aberdeen Angus beef, lamb from its flock of Romney ewes, traditional Welsh-breed pork (which can be traced back to an indigenous white lop-eared breed), poultry and seasonal game.

The hand-selected range also includes dry goods and drinks from artisan suppliers like Lilo’s Handmade pasta or Hive Mind mead. The shop often hosts tastings so customers can meet local Welsh food makers and try their products. Visitors can also try the estate’s wares at the on-site restaurant, The Forage Kitchen, which serves an ever-changing array of dishes, with many of the ingredients sourced on the doorstep of the restaurant, as well as a grab-and-go service, Forage Away.

Hawarden Estate Farm Shop

Location: Flintshire
Shop hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday Sunday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 8:30am-6pm

Based on the edge of North Wales near Chester, Hawarden Estate has historic roots, with iron age origins, and an 18th century castle once home to four-time prime minister William Gladstone. But in its modern form, it is a unique mix of event spaces and venues surrounded by woodland, where the team plays host to everything from micro festivals and comedy nights to workshops and classes in a historic Victorian walled garden. In addition to a multi-award-winning farm shop and restaurant, the estate includes holiday homes, a campsite and summer camps.

The first farm shop on the site opened 18 years ago, but Tara Richards-Gladstone, director of the estate, says it has changed quite a bit since then. “Initially, it was a very simple and small affair, just selling produce grown in the fields directly behind it. However, it has since grown into a thriving business with attached café and bakery, where we make all our loaves and cakes in house each and every day,” she tells Speciality Food

The on-site bakery is the farm shop’s USP, and the team is starting to use flour from its own wheat too, offering “a true field-to-fork experience”. “We think we make some of the best breads and pastries going, and they have a very loyal local following,” Tara says.

At the family-friendly farm shop, customers can also explore a great range of hand-picked local food. “Plus, there’s a homeware section selling a curated range of homeware products that we love,” Tara adds. The best-selling products are the shop’s signature in-house sourdough and homewares – everything from cookbooks to gifts – showing that customers are keen to take the dining experience at Hawarden Estate home with them.

Visitors can come for lunch, brunch or afternoon tea at the café to enjoy menus using sustainably sourced and seasonal ingredients, and Tara says breakfasts served with a cup of locally roasted coffee are particularly popular. The egg-based breakfast dishes, including eggs Benedict, eggs Royale or eggs Florentine, are all must-order meals.

Beacons Farm Shop

Location: Brecon, Powys
Shop hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 8am-4:30pm

Located at the Welsh Venison Centre, Beacons Farm Shop was established in 1985 by the Morgan family. Based in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the shop is now run by husband and wife Andrew and Elaine Morgan, who sell high-quality, fresh meat from their own farm.

As customers would expect, the shop sells the farm’s venison, which is outdoor-reared and boasts very low fat content. They also sell beef from their own farm and from livestock bred locally in free-range environments; lamb from the 300 lambs that roam freely on the fields and hills near the Welsh Venison Centre; outdoor-reared pork and bacon from pigs raised with high animal welfare standards; and a variety of types of poultry and seasonal game, sourced locally.

One of the shop’s most popular products is its flavourful 21-day matured Welsh fillet steak, which is matured on the bone. Welsh lamb is also a firm favourite, which the expert butchery team recommends cooking lightly seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper to enhance the flavour.

In addition to the quality meat available at the butcher’s counter (which also happens to make appearances in Michelin-starred restaurants), the shop sells fresh bread from nearby Talgarth Mill, as well as daily deliveries of fresh vegetables and deli products, like pork pies and pasties, that are ideal for slipping straight into customers’ picnic baskets. For those with a sweet tooth, the locally made cakes are also a must-try treat.

Visitors can stop in the cafe to enjoy locally made cake with tea and coffee, and the indoor and outdoor seating makes the most of the views of the Brecon Beacons. Diners can even spot the farm’s deer, sheep and cows that roam the fields. The kitchen team also offers a packed lunch service for those who want to eat on the go. Simply ring up in advance and they will pack a lunch full of tasty local produce that can be picked up before a walk in the Welsh hills.

Gate 2 Plate Farm Shop

Location: Lower Freystrop, Haverfordwest
Shop hours: Tuesday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm; Saturday, 8:30am-4pm

Since opening in 2007 just two miles from the family run farm, Gate 2 Plate has become a go-to destination for quality, home-reared beef, rare breed pork, Pembrokeshire potatoes and seasonal vegetables. 

On the farm, the family traditionally rear beef cattle, which is expertly hung for weeks to provide a fantastic flavour and tenderness. Meanwhile, the Tamworth Gloucester old spot and large black pigs enjoy a natural outdoor living environment.

The butchery prepares different cuts and joints as well as selling homemade sausages in a variety of flavours, with everything from pork and leek to Piri Piri. In addition to its own meat, Gate 2 Plate sources and sells traditionally made products from local producers, which the team love to highlight for their customers, including Pembrokeshire lambs, Welsh cheese, free-range eggs, local honey, ice cream, preserves, milk and butter, bread, cakes and more.

The on-site kitchen is open plan, which means customers can watch the team as they work, preparing a range of pies, pasties, sausage rolls and homemade cakes (traditional Welsh Bara Brith is a firm favourite), before picking one up at the counter.

Lewis’s Farm Shop

Location: Eyton, Wrexham
Shop hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 9:30am-4pm

Award-winning Lewis’s Farm Shop in Eyton near Wrexham, was established in 2006 by Mark and Jayne Lewis, and prides itself on offering top-quality produce with a “hearty welcome”. In its early days, the shop only sold fresh lamb from the farm, but as demand for local produce skyrocketed, the business expanded.

Today, the farm shop is packed with seasonal vegetables, preserves, condiments, frozen goods and Cheshire Farm ice cream, all of which is sourced locally whenever possible or from hand-picked producers based further afield. 

The butcher’s counter is still a huge highlight of the shop. The in-house team prepares all the locally sourced meat, including joints, fresh sausages, bistro-style burgers, kebabs, home-cured black bacon and more. 

In the kitchen, the team bakes sweet and savoury treats from scratch using traditional techniques every day, which are sold throughout the shop. The deli counter is always stocked with homemade pies and quiches as well as locally sourced Welsh and English cheeses, while the bakery is packed with mouthwatering cakes, pastries and scones.

Both the butchery and kitchen are open plan, meaning visitors in the farm shop can watch the team as they work – or visitors can also enjoy views of the stunning borderlands of North Wales. 

Square Farm Shop

Location: Monmouth, Gwent
Shop hours: Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5pm; Saturday, 10am-4:30pm; Sunday, 10am-3pm

Focusing on traditional farming methods, Square Farm Shop is a family-run business known for its home-grown organic produce as well as a range of local products from the Wye Valley and surrounding areas. The farm dates back to 1978 when it was founded by Mr and Mrs Whittall, and it is now owned and operated by their son, Robert.

The traditional mixed farm rears cattle, sheep, pigs, chicken, ducks and geese, while cereal and root crops are grown for animal feed. In addition to this, an ever-growing number of vegetable crops are produced to stock the shelves of the farm shop, alongside meat and eggs from the farm’s flock of 200 free-ranging poultry.

The team at Square Farm Shop are passionate about their premium, organic meat and vegetables, which they say are not only produced to high standards, but also “offer a more rewarding taste than imported alternatives available in supermarkets”. Care is taken in the production of all their fresh produce – for example, meat for beef is hung for up to six weeks to produce a tender texture.

The farm also does its bit for wildlife, including planting 400 metres of new hedgerows consisting of British native plants, creating three small orchards for traditional fruit trees and fencing seven acres of woodland to preserve it from livestock, with bat boxes and dormouse nesting boxes installed to boost wildlife. They have plans to further improve wildlife on the farm, including offering access for leisure and educational purposes. 

Slade Farm Organics

Location: St Brides Major, Vale of Glamorgan
Shop hours: June-December – Thursday 2-5, Saturday 10-2

Slade Farm Organics is run by Polly and Graeme, third generation farmers in St Brides Major, who prioritise working with nature and the local community. The farm delivers organic, sustainable produce through a closed cycle of nutrients, meaning all the farm’s animals and crops are fed from their own 650 acres of mixed livestock and arable farming land in South Wales.

In addition to a small shop, the team offers monthly meat boxes and weekly veg bags for people based around South Wales. The meat is butchered on the farm in St Brides Major, with a flexible selection of beef, lamb and pork available, as well as homemade organic sausages and burgers. In the summer and autumn, the organic veg bag scheme provides customers with fresh produce, such as sugar snap peas, carrots, tomatoes, aubergines, leeks, broccoli, cucumbers, new potatoes, fresh herbs and more, depending on what’s in season.

The farm also sells organic Welsh flour, which is grown organically on the farm and milled in two iconic Welsh mills: Y Felin in St. Dogmaels and Felin Ganol. This makes the flour, as they say, “a testament to the rich agricultural heritage of this beautiful region”.

Polly and Graeme are passionate about sustainability and community, and Slade Farm Organics offers group farm visits and special open days for curious customers to learn more about the farm. There is also availability for camping on the farm or staying in one of its holiday cottages.

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