Skip to content
March 30, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

It’s 3 years since Apley Farm Shop opened


It’s 3 years since Apley Farm Shop opened on 31 March 2011. The majority of the building work took place during the coldest winter we’ve had for decades under very tight deadlines.

On 16 April 2011, to launch officially, Mary Berry came to give some cookery demonstrations & judge a Bake Off. We began with just Farm Shop itself, butcher & delicatessen offering delicious local food from Shropshire & the surrounding counties.  We are working with wonderful local suppliers such as Mike’s Homemade jams & chutneys, Peter’s Yard crispbread, Coopers sauasage rolls, Hobson’s Brewery who brew Apley Ale & Mr Moyden’s Shropshire cheeses. As well as inviting suppliers to offer tasters on Saturdays & participating in selected national food week promotions, we attend local Food Festivals.

At the same time we opened the Creamery Café Restaurant (recognisable from the photo here) in the barn which formerly accommodated the Apley Estate cheese making rooms.  We specialize in freshly cooked locally sourced food for breakfast & lunch, really good coffee & handmade cakes. Having had a series of art exhibitions there, we currently have our first Apley Archives Exhibition – a collection of 60 photos.

Also, to create an attraction & ensure that we were known by families far & wide we opened Pigg’s Playbarn (here under construction), named after two generations of farm managers who farmed from the Farm Shop buildings.  Here we have a stimulating & clean indoor soft play centre, suitable for ages up to 11, plus a small outdoor space & regular children’s activities.  We serve the parents delicious tea & coffee & handmade cakes, comfy sofas & wifi. We also have sandwiches & other snacks available.

In 2012 we opened the Skylark Nature Trail, a 45 min walk starting & finishing from the carpark.  We have increased our handmade food production by adding another kitchen & increased the butcher’s capacity by adding a chilled hanging room. We are very lucky to have Piglet’s Toy Shop & since last October Lottie’s clothes shop.  Little Hippo Crafts were in the Courtyard, but have now moved to bigger premises in Wolverhampton. They began the monthly Sunday craft fairs which we continue April to December. A new attraction in 2013 was the opening of Scotty’s Donkey rides &  Animal Park.  Visitors can look at numerous rare breed sheep, pigs, giant rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, some of which can be handled.  From Feb 2013, Apley Walled Garden came back into production supplying the Farm Shop with unusual & traditional fruit & vegetables. Jackie Wilson, nutritionist, joined us earlier this year just next to the Corn Loft Conference room which we let out for business meetings.

As well as running a Cookery Club & a series of courses (currently photography), we are also well known for our regular events, which include open farm Sunday & a Christmas Food Fair.  The most well known though is the Apley Jousting Fair which was put on for the first time in May 2013 to great acclaim with 25oo visitors watching the superb & exciting Knights of the Damned jousting team and many other exciting acts.  The second Apley Jousting Fair is being held on 3rd May 2014 & tickets are now available at

Future plans include welcoming a florist & Elizabeth Beckett handcream (Elibec) onto the site.  We are improving our production kitchen & capability for handmade food to sell in the shop.  Harper Adams University students have recently conducted a feasibility study into E-commerce, especially Click & Collect. In 2013, we won the FARMA Rising Star award.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: