Get to Know Us
The “Farm Shop, Dairy Processing and Butchery” new building and selected equipment* was part funded by the
‘European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development’
The farm shop partly opened and dairy processing commenced in this building from 23rd May 2020
The Butchery and Farm Shop fully opened on
5th November 2020
Barnowl Farm Shop is the retail arm of Messrs’ Reader trading as Barnowl Jerseys (for more details of Barnowl Jerseys please visit our farm page http://www.barnowljerseys.co.uk/ ). In 2016 we concluded that in order to continue milking our renowned Jersey herd we would need to evolve our overall business. This was primarily due to the farmgate milk price being lower than the cost of production (and this did not include paying ourselves). This was clearly not sustainable, especially when it came to succession planning and the hours needed to keep the farm running.
Starting with an honesty box from our garage in August 2016 we bottled fresh raw milk where people could come and purchase raw (unpasteurised) milk in 1lt and 2lt bottles paying cash and retrieving their own change. This soon expanded to include Eggs from College farm, Honey from Simon Robbins and Jams and Chutneys from Springfield Kitchen. We progressed to selling cream and started to stock strawberries and Westbury asparagus when in season.
This 1st change meant that in that 1st financial year instead of making a loss resulting in the end of the herd and the sale of the farm, we broke even! Realising that this diversification was something that we could make more of 2017 saw the start of the behind the scenes planning and fund applications. Gaining the initial go ahead from the RDPE growth grant in 2019. Our foundations went in that summer, with the main building going up in early 2020 (during that rain). Once the internal work was completed sufficiently, we were able to open our doors for weekends only on 23rd May 2020. Opening during lockdown presented its own set of challenges (especially with Heidi heavily pregnant with the next generation of the Reader family) However the summer months proved promising with our weekend opening in the shop, whilst maintain the honesty box shop during the week. Finding an appropriately experienced Butcher proved our next challenge, finally finding John who started in November 2020 allowing us to fully open our doors within our purpose-built shop, butchery, and mini micro dairy processing.
After a few months of being open 7 days a week, we found that Tuesdays were our quietest day, therefore we elected to close to ensure we could complete a thorough clean and catch up with our other responsibilities.
We continue to source quality products from as local as possible. Initially we wanted to solely source local and British Products, however due to the needs of our local community and customers and regular requests we do stock some fresh produce out of the British season from Europe. If you have any questions about any of our products please do not hesitate to ask.
Our Cows are out for as long as the beautiful British weather allows and offered complementary buffer feeds to make up for any deficiencies within the grazing. As such with their grass-based silage our cows are feed a 99% grass-based diet. Our pigs are another new diversification to the farm the Sows and boar are both pure Oxford Sandy and Black bloodlines. We only bring the sows in for farrowing to allow assistance for temperature control of the young piglets and to keep them out of the watchful eye of the Red Kites regularly seen over the farm. Our farming practices constantly being reviewed to ensure the health and welfare of our livestock as the evidence, property layout and budgets allow.
Barnowl Jerseys initially owned and run by Charles and Frances Reader, is currently going through succession stages with the business now owned by Charles and Andrew Reader, with assistance Heidi supporting behind the scenes around work and childcare. Having started 2020 with no employees, Barnowl Jerseys now employs 3 fulltime members of staff (including 2 apprentices) and 9 others who work around other commitments.
We thank you for taking the time to explore our site, and look forward to greeting you in store!
The Reader Family and team and Barnowl Farm Shop