Susan Gorst, of Moorgate Farm, Potterspury, is opening her new farm shop this Friday.
Her farming business started with her Kelly Bronze Turkey business nearly 15 years ago. Just over 5 years ago she ‘accidentally’ started a vegetable delivery service and hasn’t looked back!
Last week I popped over for a look around the farm shop and to find out more. She’s excited and scared but like me, she can’t wait for the opening day on 6 May 2022
Address: Moorend Road, Potterspury, NN12 7QG
How it Started
For many years, Susan and her family have raised Kelly Bronze Turkeys for Christmas. As part of this service, every November she opened her farm to Tasting Days. These days she gives small producers and sellers the opportunity to showcase their products.
Unfortunately, 5 years ago their usual vegetable box supplier stopped trading. Unable to find an alternative, she decided to find her own vegetable supplies and add them into her mix. It wasn’t long before her vegetable delivery service was born.
Support Local, Support British
Susan is always keen to supply the best in British produce that not only tastes as good as it looks but lasts as well. She mainly sources her vegetables from three local farms. This means once picked, sorted and delivered, customers receive their veg within 24-36 hours of that picking. Customers report that the veg lasts longer as a result – with one person telling her their carrots lasted for 11 weeks!
She explains they may initially cost slightly more than a supermarket but by learning how to look after them and use them properly they’ll be cheaper in the long run. That’s before you start thinking about fewer product miles!
It’s important to try and find things as locally as possible and support small local businesses. With the shop, I can take this a step further and provide a bigger mix of produce from all over Britain but mainly the local area.
Although we think of Moorgate Farm as vegetable delivery, cheese, oils, eggs, and honey have always been on offer too. The shop is very obviously the next step to developing her business.
The Thought Behind theProducts
Having grown up on a farm in the Lake District, Susan has incredible knowledge and understanding when it comes to small scale producers. She gets to know the makers and producers, building relationships to ensure that they have the same passion for what they do as she does. It also means she can tell us, the customer, about those products in far more detail – essentially from the first ingredient that hits the bowl to when the customer eats it. This makes her style very different from how supermarkets sell local produce. Don’t expect a stack it high, sell it cheap shop, here you have an honest shop selling honest value for money products and treats by a knowledgeable retailer /farmer.
It seems makers love her passion and her desire to meet them. One supplier, travelled for 45 minutes so that she could meet Susan and make sure she cared about how the products are sold. That means more to Susan than the producer who says yes to anyone. It’s also the story behind the product, and as Susan says there always is one.
Susan is our very own farm shop Jamie Oliver – she would love to educate more people on how to use slightly better produce, help it to last longer and make it go further. She, also, wants people to have a better understanding of where food comes from and the impact its production has. Overall, she’d love to see more of us enjoy creating proper meals and eating fewer ready-meals – from a budget and health point of view.
I love the styling of this farm shop – yes, a typical rustic wooden-clad Lake District look about it, yet the big light windows show the products to their best. Of course, there are a couple of other amazing local farm shops in the area but few incorporate the deli-style mix of fresh, bottled and store cupboard foods. Although she is starting small her goal is to build a full array of items sourced from smaller producers and those selling slightly more quirky or traditional choices.
The Actual Products
Customers will find smoked poultry and fish products as well as sausage rolls made from local pigs. She’s planning for turkey pies and even venison sausage rolls when in season as well as a weekly fish van. In addition, you can buy fresh eggs.
Along with the vegetables, the shop sells different artisan cheeses. Personally, I can recommend the Legrooms organic goat’s and sheep cheeses, I love them! Susan has worked with this company for nearly 20 years. There will also be cheddar style cheese and similar.
The cheese will taste great with the Whittlebury Bakery bread and soon they’ll be selling fresh sourdough from a Northamptonshire based producer .
Pasta features in the store cupboard along with The Fruity Farmer oils, sauces, Reasons to Season marinades, and dips and pickles. In addition, mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce and salad dressings are available. The pasta is British made and so are the actual ingredients. The Mediterranean pickles include artichokes that are perfect for pizza.
For those with a sweet tooth, there are 7 different varieties of chocolate bars from the Chocolate Mill. On special occasions, the shop will include his truffles as well. There will also be homemade toffees, fudges, and peanut brittles from a Northampton producer. It doesn’t stop there – there are cakes, puddings and local honey. Think sticky toffee, lemon and other traditional puddings as well as dairy style custard compotes and more. The Irish Black Butter is also a must-try especially as it can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.
There are Posh Pop drinks on offer – made from fruits, spices and herbs and lots more besides – think ginger, chilli and more. Susan is also in the process of applying for a licence to sell alcohol.
The best way to find out more though is to visit the farm shop!
The Vegetable Delivery Service
Sadly, Susan has had to make the difficult decision to stop home delivery, for the time being, she hopes it will restart once she knows her commitments. However, typical of this caring woman, she will continue to deliver to the customers who can’t get out and value her support.
It’s not just about the vegetables I have to care for my customers too, I even phone some of the more frail customers to check that they are OK. These are also the ones who can’t use the internet or get to the shops so rely on me.
This business is very much about being a community-based business for local people, helping where she can and selling produce that is good for the environment as well as the people who buy them. She explains that she understands people buying cheap, and supermarkets having to buy from overseas. However, she gets frustrated when supermarkets use clever marketing gimmicks like the name of a farm to make a lettuce feel local, when it possibly didn’t grow there. For Susan, it also gives people the wrong perception. Along with this, she is also passionate about farmers being paid fair prices for what they grow.
Address: Moorend Road, Potterspury, NN12 7QG
Telephone: 01908 543008
Website: Moorgate Farm
Opens: Fridays 9am-4pm, Saturday 9am-3pm