Photo gallery: Wymondham businesswoman sets sights on farming industry revamp
09:34 30 May 2014
A businesswoman is attempting to keep her family’s farming tradition alive with a modern twist.
Annabel Barber’s family has run the Cavick House Farm in Wymondham since the 1970s – but last year the 31-year-old decided she wanted to bring the business into the 21st century by opening a café.
She was inspired by the success of the farm’s self-service Egg Shed – which sells free-range eggs from 16,000 hens all year round.
“We opened the Egg Shed four years ago. That made our farm more than a private farm and encouraged business.
“More and more customers started to use it – people seemed to be expecting a little bit more,” Miss Barber added.
Unhappy in her job, she took the plunge and opened the Hen House café in October last year – and has since seen its popularity grow.
“People have been really positive. I sell home-made cakes, scones and biscuits and offer a special coffee blend,” she said.
Although the Hen House was a personal venture, the businesswoman hoped the move would bring a wider audience to the farm.
“In the farming community you can’t survive on the basic things you used to be able to,” she said.
“It’s another way of creating a different base and keeping it in the context of the farm at the same time. That’s a tricky balance to manage.”
The 31-year-old was inspired by her father David, who added a wind turbine, solar panels and caravan park to the site to keep the family’s business ahead of the times. Mother Julie, sister Elizabeth and even grandmother Sheila Brown all get involved with the day to day running of the farm – with Mrs Brown selling fresh preserves at the Jam Shed.
The family hope to encourage those living nearby to attend an open day on June 8, part of a national event sponsored by the Linking Environment and Farming organisation. From 11am to 3pm the family will provide food and tours of the farm, showing visitors how they look after the chickens.
For more information on the event and the Hen House opening times visit the website at www.annabelseggshed.co.uk
Do you have a Wymondham story? Contact reporter Lauren Cope on email@example.com