Originally the store, in the old Gordonton dairy factory, only had 20 suppliers, but as their popularity grew so did the range.
Ms Clancy said they keep produce as local as possible, starting with the immediate area and increasing in distance if the products can’t be sourced closer to home.
“I still get people asking ‘do you sell bananas?’ so I have planted a banana tree, but I have to wait 10 years before we actually see some!”
The store had been in the back of Ms Clancy’s mind for some time, but when a good friend passed away it gave her and partner Kevin Clarke the push in the direction they needed.
“We had a very dear friend of ours pass away suddenly, and his dying words were ‘don’t give up! Don’t put off to do tomorrow what you can do today. Take the risk, do it.’ So we did.
She said landlord Don Riddell got on board with the idea and separated what is now home to The Farm Shop from the neighbouring store, put in a ranch slider, walls, power, sinks, and painted the interior.
“Because it was just a bit on the back of a shop, it took some imagination!”
The business runs differently to many other farm stores in New Zealand as Ms Clancy does not take a commission; rather the space is rented to suppliers so they are able to come and go as they need to, and it is more profitable for them to do so.
Ms Clancy and Mr Clarke originally sold jams, chutneys, and free range eggs at markets, but found with the shop they weren’t able to keep up with everything. Now Mr Clarke is in charge of the eggs and a garden for the markets, and works part-time in the store. Ms Clancy works a full-time job on top of managing the store. She said they have a good supply of jams and chutneys from other suppliers, but will continue to do the eggs and veges in the store and at markets.
For other stories on The Farm Shop, click here.
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