Bury Lane Farm Shop in Melbourn is moving with the times after huge revamp

Ian Larkins is retail director of Bury Lane Farm Shop.

Ian Larkins is retail director of Bury Lane Farm Shop. - Credit: Archant

From its humble beginnings as a wooden hut on the A10 to its growth into a farm shop emporium, Bury Lane has remained a firm South Cambs staple for food-lovers since it opened in 1988.

Ian Larkins next to the new cheese counter.

Ian Larkins next to the new cheese counter. - Credit: Archant

Now, the family-run food hub on the Melbourn bypass boasts a cafe, gift shop, glasshouse, fun barn, garden centre and farm shop – which has just seen a facelift costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Cabinets and fridges which have done sterling service for a decade have now given way to state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings.

It is this focus on creating a pleasant shopping experience for customers that retail director Ian Larkins – who joined the company 11 years ago due to his ‘passion for good quality food’ – reckons contributes to the store’s success.

He said: “I think we’ve done so well because we keep moving with the times.

“Other businesses go a bit stagnant. We want to stay modern.

“It’s a nice shopping experience. People who walk through the doors have a smile on their faces. You can turn it into a day out and visit the children’s fun barn. In Tesco it’s more a case of: ‘I have to go shopping’.

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“You get people who do the bulk of their shopping in the larger supermarkets, then come here to buy their better quality meats and products.”

The sheer size of the centre is often a surprise to passing customers.

He said: “When people think of a farm shop, they have in their mind a little shack selling a couple of potatoes. We are much more than that.”

Another impressive feature at Bury Lane is a huge brand-new glasshouse – home to about 120,000 oriental and calla lilies – which means the farmers can grow produce throughout the winter months.

The glasshouse is so jam-packed with flowers that it’s impossible to squeeze into – the lilies are fed and watered through an automated system monitored by a digital control pad – before they are boxed up and sent to the likes of Covent Garden and Marks & Spencer.

Bury Lane will be hosting a Charity Christmas Reindeer Evening on Tuesday, December 1.

Punters will get the chance to enjoy an evening of Cairngorm Reindeer, Father Christmas, music, children’s entertainment and festive shopping.

The ticket only event costs £10 per car, with all proceeds going to the Countryside Restoration Trust.