Positive steps forward for Surrey Hills “Farm to fork” business
26th January 2021
One of the positives to have come out of the pandemic has been the innovation and diversification that many businesses have undergone. Faced with incredible challenges, many Surrey Hills businesses have looked for new opportunities and new avenues to help them grow. In turn, this has led to creating new jobs, increasing awareness of local produce, and maintaining high standards of quality, sustainability and local provenance.
One such example is Hill House Farm – Awarded the 2020 Gold Trade Mark Surrey Hills.
After 25 years as a hotelier, Ian Jones set up Hill House Farm, with his family in 2018, rearing Gloucester Old Spots Pork and Southdown Lamb using regenerative and natural farming methods.
By the end of 2019, they had a successful wholesale pork and lamb business as well as a growing and thriving catering and events business using their own produce.
2020 was set to be the year they made their first profit – with a stretching yet achievable budget they embarked on 2020 full of enthusiasm and excitement.
Enter COVID 19
By 23rd March 2020 they had lost 95% of their income as lockdown gripped the nation.
Not one to be beaten, they reinvented their business, developing an online store and creating a home delivery service for their pork and lamb. It has since grown beyond their expectations, they now work with a collection of local growers, farmers, producers and winemakers in Surrey and Sussex to provide over 300 carefully sourced items to around 2300 homes nationwide.
Hill House Farm to open butchers shop at Chessington Garden Centre
As if that was not enough, they have just announced that they will be opening their first butcher’s shop at Chessington Garden Centre, as part of the Centre’s farm shop expansion.
The Farm’s state of the art butchery will be an integral part of the Centre’s new 410sq m farm shop development, which is due to open mid March and it will also feature a delicatessen, cheese counter, charcuterie and a wide range of carefully sourced produce from across the South East of England.
The Farm’s inaugural butchers’ shop will feature its free range, farm reared produce with great provenance, including its renowned Gloucester Old Spot pork, its grass-fed Southdown lamb and
Belted Galloway and Dexter beef. As part of this expansion the Farm will be developing its ‘farm to fork’ offering and is looking to collaborate with other like-minded farms and producers across the
Surrey Hills, who share its ethos and passion for sustainable farming. Being able to expand its offering to feature an extensive range of locally sourced meats is the next natural step for the Farm.
Creating local jobs
To support this new venture, and the continued development of its online and wholesale business, the Farm will be recruiting for at least four new roles, including a butchery manager to run this new retail unit. Hill House Farm are already actively recruiting for these roles in time for the planned opening in March
Ian Jones of Hill House Farm said: “This is an incredibly exciting addition to our ‘farm to fork’ business. We have grown our online offering considerably over the last year, building a loyal following of
customers who love our farm reared pork, lamb and beef. Opening our shop is the next step in our expansion programme and we are really looking forward to working with Jolyon and the team at
Chessington, to introduce our great tasting products with fantastic provenance to a whole new set of customers in the Centre’s development.”