6th December 2022

Local Brand Crush: The Farm

This month, our local Agent Grace King sits down with Charlie Wells, founder of ”The Farm Stratford” in beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon. The incredible family run business offers a unique food and wellbeing destination that showcases local Artisan produce and promotes ethical, wholesome and sustainable food.

Meet Grace

We’re huge fans of The Farm at Mr and Mrs Clarke! We’d love to hear a bit more your initial business idea and how you got started…
The initial idea started as a business plan for my dissertation at university down in Bristol, which is such a supportive area of independent businesses so I drew a lot of inspiration from there. My lecturers loved the concept and said that if I ever got the opportunity to put the plan into action I should go for it. I took their advice and looked for grants and supports before doing a bit of travelling and when I returned the venue came up for sale. I spoke to my family and said there was an investment we should make and they were all on board!

We love the location! How do you find being in this area?
We absolutely love Stratford and we’re glad we can help it become a bit more diverse as it’s stayed the same traditional place for quite a while. We love that we help encourage younger people and young families to the area as we feel that’s what’s been missing here! We’re only a stone’s throw from the town but people love that we’re on the outskirts as it truly feels like it’s own little retreat. 

What were the initial struggles in the early stages of setting up your own business?
Initially it was the planning permission, but once we actually started the building work a huge storm (“the beast from the east”) hit the UK. The whole building was under a metre of snow and we couldn’t lay a single brick so everything was put on hold for quite a while! 

the farm
the farm

When you eventually opened, what was the initial reaction from the public? Was it well received by the local residents?
We were incredibly lucky that we had 9000 people here on the first day, it was unbelievable! The building work ended up lasting 18 months with around 10 people on site each day, so to have that many people here at the same time was quite overwhelming but amazing. 

Ahead of your launch, did you do any local marketing or anything to spread the word within the local community?
I began the Instagram very early on and flooded it with content about the renovation which people seemed to love! I’m a huge fan of that myself and always like seeing ‘before and after’ videos and pictures. We put absolutely everything on…The concrete being poured, the floors being polished…It was all really raw and organic stuff that people really enjoyed watching. We also did a campaign in The Herald, the local newspaper, and ran a Facebook event which helped spread the word that we were coming soon!

How do you think local residents could help promote independent businesses?
I would say sharing posts on social media. There’s lots of forums and groups in the smaller villages in the area such as Snitterfield and Wilmcote, which is a free form of marketing so it’s great for small start up companies like us!

For an exclusive 10% off The Farm Shop and Nourish Restaurant, keep an eye out for our Home Truths newspaper, landing on doorsteps around Stratford-upon-Avon, Shipston-on-Stour and Henley-in-Arden, to receive your discount!