Butchery and IT may not sound the obvious business partnership, but for family-run online meat enterprise Farm & Fork, it is the perfect combination.
By blending skills gleaned from their respective careers as IT Manager and Butcher; brothers-in-law Carl Andrew and Rich Jones launched online butchers Farm & Fork – supplying quality meat from their family farm at Penycae near Wrexham.
Eschewing the traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ butcher’s shop, instead, they have opted to conduct their business entirely online – offering customers the ability to place orders 24/7 using the convenience of their mobile phone or tablet by just logging on to www.farmandfork.co.uk
Farm and Fork bear the hallmarks of a traditional family butcher, except the shop is virtual and is available to all, day or night, nation-wide.
With Christmas fast approaching, it is hoped Farm & Fork’s user-friendly eCommerce platform will appeal to customers stocking up for the festive period.
Their partnership is key to the business’ success, with third-generation farmer and master butcher Rich supplying the meat expertise, while Carl – who works in banking IT – overseeing the smooth running of the business and it’s website.
“We knew that we had a an excellent product, coming from the strong foundations of the existing farm and butchery, so it was a case of how to get that out to a much wider audience. Rich and I got chatting and started thinking about setting up a web-based business.”
Without the overheads and geographical constraints of running a traditional shop, the pair can reach a much broader customer base, delivering fresh cuts of meat straight to customers doors in specialist insulated packaging.
“We realise that people want convenience, but they also care about where their produce comes. By ordering from Farm & Fork they have the reassurance that they are buying quality produce from a family business they can trust, with the convenience of ordering online and having it delivered direct to their door”
At the farm’s EU approved cutting facility, meat from their grass-fed Welsh Black and Limousin cattle, and traditional Welsh Mountain and Suffolk sheep is turned into a variety of cuts and joints to suit all occasions.
In launching Farm & Fork Carl and Rich are building on a family butchery tradition which was started more than 70 years ago by Rich’s great-uncle Stanley.
While the business minded pair has the right technical and practical skills in abundance, they recognosed the importance of seeking additional support and advice from industry experts to help take their business forward.
They have undertaken numerous business workshops and have had the opportunity to sell directly to the public at this year’s Royal Welsh Show under the auspices of Cywain -– a Menter a Busnes delivered project that supports the development of growth orientated businesses in the food and drink sector in Wales.
“Cywain have been brilliant support, they put us in touch with industry experts who provided advice on things such as digital marketing, and by having Cywain support us test trading at the Royal Welsh Show we were able to showcase our business and produce to a far reaching audience and gained some great feedback along the way.”
Says Cywain Development Manager, Llior Radford,
“Carl and Rich have both got real entrepreneurial flair and they have worked hard – and taken advice – to make sure they have the right business model for Farm & Fork. The enterprise is proving to be a success, demonstrated by the fact they have already achieved recognition at the Great Taste Awards.”