11.30am, Monday, 19 March 2012 marks the 35th anniversary of the opening of the Chatsworth Farm Shop. 28 of the 30 years of my time at Chatsworth have been spent at the Farm Shop and I have witnessed many exciting and extraordinary changes.

Established in 1977, by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, in the converted original stables of a former stud farm, the aim was to sell beef and lamb from the estate farms and venison from the park. Since then, the Farm Shop has continually developed and diversified, growing from strength to strength to become an acknowledged leader in its field, and winning Best On-farm Butchery 2009 and Farm Shop of the Year at the FARMA Awards 2009 and 2011 (I am accepting the 2011 award in the photograph above).

Specialising in the best of local and regional food, we have a butchery, a kitchen and bakery producing a selection of cooked meats, pies, bread and cakes, a delicatessen, and fish counter. Our shelves are stocked with an extensive variety of jams, pickles, spices, sauces, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and much, much more.

The Farm Shop is a vital part of the local agricultural community. Working for us is a very special talented team, which includes: butchers, bakers, farmers, gamekeepers, gardeners, dairymen and brewers. More than a million people now visit the Farm Shop each year to sample some of this goodness for themselves.

By employing local, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and offering an excellent selection of high quality produce, the reputation and success of the Farm Shop has grown steadily.

It’s been a remarkable journey so far, for the shop and myself, with no two days ever being the same.


André Birkett

Head of Farm Shop

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