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Yarm Farm Shop preparing for busy festive period

7 December 2015

A family-run farm shop in Stockton-on-Tees is going from strength to strength and gearing up for a busy Christmas period, with the support of Yorkshire Bank.

Hutchinson Hobbs farm shop in Yarm was opened in May this year by the Hutchinson family. In the first six months of trading, it has surpassed the expectations of husband and wife team Barry and Jenny.

Now the couple, who run the shop with support from Barry’s mother Anita and father Alan, are preparing for a busy festive period.

The business was set up with the financial backing of Yorkshire Bank in May this year. Since opening, the shop has increased the range of products on offer, invested in equipment to meet demand for their own-made products, and created a number of full and part-time jobs.

Underpinning the business is a commitment to support local producers.

With both Barry and Jenny coming from farming families, the opportunity to open Hutchinson Hobbs on the same site as the Yarm Golf Driving Range, which is on a working farm, was not to be missed.

Barry and father Alan head up the thriving butchery side of the business, which makes up around half of all sales. They are anticipating creating a new full-time butchery position in the New Year.

With demand for their home-made products such as ready meals, pies and quiches, on the rise, the family has invested in a new pie press to cater for growing numbers of orders.

The shop has also started to supply a small number of local pubs and restaurants, an area of the business Barry is keen to expand.

Barry said: “We are concentrating on providing the community with local quality produce at affordable prices. We look to source the majority of our range from within 15 miles of the shop, putting local produce on local plates.

“Our chefs are always looking at ways to expand their range of food we produce ourselves and it is very satisfying to create local jobs.”

For Christmas Hutchinson Hobbs will be providing a full range of local meats including turkeys, chickens, geese and ducks. Hams will be cured on-site and all meat is sold to order.

After Christmas the family will take stock as they approach their first full year in business, and Barry is keen to build on a positive first 12 months.

He said:

“The whole family has been overwhelmed by the support of the local community. We average around 750-800 shoppers a week and with Christmas around the corner, are expecting demand for our local produce to increase.

“Yorkshire Bank really took the time to understand our business. They’ve been extremely supportive since we first approached them and we are starting to discuss expansion plans for next year.”

Angela Armbruster, relationship manager at Yorkshire Bank’s business and private banking centre in Stockton on Tees, said: “The Hutchinson family, with their extensive knowledge of farming and retail, run a thriving and successful local business, which Yorkshire Bank is very proud to support.

“They have met the demand for quality produce and understand the importance of provenance, which comes through in everything they sell. We are looking forward to working with the family as they grow and develop Hutchinson Hobbs.”

Yorkshire Bank strengthened its support for UK SMEs by becoming the first to partner with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantees scheme. Up to £125m of new lending by Yorkshire Bank will help more small businesses achieve their growth ambitions.

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