A FAMILY-owned butcher, near Wellow, is celebrating its new and improved farm shop.

Following a suggestion by the farm owners, Mike and Sarah Alexander have re-launched The Farmers Butcher at Swallowfields Farm in Bramshaw with a new shop at the front of the farm.

The couple were joined by their suppliers and customers for a launch party on Thursday, March 13, a week after the shop opened.

The new larger shop offers a wider range of items such as homemade pies and ready meals, as well as hot drinks and snacks which are available to take away or enjoy in the outdoor seating area.

Salisbury Journal: Mike and SarahMike and Sarah (Image: Adele Bouchard)

Mike, 53, who’s been a butcher for around 35 years, said: “It’s been manic in the best way, absolutely bonkers in butcher’s terms. Last week felt like Christmas every day but even busier. I’m ecstatic.

“Everything has changed apart from the quality of the meat. We’ve had a very good response, everyone is loving it and seems really pleased that we have done it.

“It was hard work to get to us. We’re hoping the move will improve our customer base. People used to look but did not come in.

“I had always wanted my own shop. I had managed the previous shop here for a couple of years before we bought it and created our own butchers.

“We stick to local produce as much as we can and we’ve had lots of interest from nearby farms since we launched the new shop

Salisbury Journal: The Farmers ButcherThe Farmers Butcher (Image: gingerandblackphotography)

Sarah, 55, said: “We’ve got a lot of people coming back just for the sausage rolls and the pies are amazing too.

“Most people used to go in and then go out again, not realising the old shop was at the back of the farm. It wasn’t good for your suspension on the track either.”

The development opportunity was encouraged by the farm owners who suggested the couple build a bigger building closer to the road and with outside seating.

Once planning permission was granted, the building work all came together in just a couple of months.

Salisbury Journal: Farm owners Ian and NickiFarm owners Ian and Nicki (Image: gingerandblackphotography)

Farm owners Ian and Nicki Burgess are delighted with the expansion. Ian, 42, said: “The old shop was right opposite our house. The business has just grown and grown and it has always been a plan of theirs to move into bigger premises and everyone saw what a good idea it was to move out front here. It looks amazing.”

Nicki, 38, said: “This is far more accessible. Initially, people had to drive through the farm and wouldn’t have a clue where they were going – it was really confusing for them.

“We had this massive area doing nothing so we said why don’t we apply to build it here. We got the full support of locals and the council. The support for local businesses has gotten really big since Covid. We’re absolutely thrilled with the final result, they have done a fantastic job on it.”

Salisbury Journal: Andrew and Sarah Parry-Norton with their son at the launchAndrew and Sarah Parry-Norton with their son at the launch (Image: Adele Bouchard)

Andrew and Sarah Parry-Norton, from Storms Farm in Kewlake Lane, Cadnam, supply pannage pork, beef and chicken and goose eggs to the shop.

Mr Parry-Norton said: “We feed all the animals on local feed, we treat them in the best possible way. You get a much better relationship with customers if they know the story and know its local.”

The Farmers Butcher opened at the back of the Swallowfields Farm seven years ago. Mark and Sarah are helped by Sarah’s son, Mark’s brother, two other butchers, a chef and a couple of part-time drivers.