Roaming Roosters to crow louder with £1m diversification plan
A Lancashire farm shop that saw sales plunge 27.5% when a Booths supermarket opened nearby has launched a £1m plan to diversify the business and expand the shop by up to three times.
Andy Jones took over Roaming Roosters in Higham, a village in the borough of Pendle, earlier this summer and plans to add a play barn and boos retail space at the five-year-old outlet – subject to planning permission.
“It’s about establishing the location as more of a destination,” said Jones, who has a marketing background. “We wanted enough for people to spend half a day or a day at a place that’s family friendly. Kids can play in the barn, parents can grab a coffee or an amazing cake and pick up something for dinner.”
Jones, who bought the site from brothers Simon and Nick Mellin, is hoping to increase the farm shop by two-to-three times, including back office and kitchen space.
“We have a strong meat offer but we don’t have the retail space to allow people to grab food to create a meal,” he said, adding that the deli range and the “limited” fridge space would also be increased.
The fruit and vegetable offer would also be enlarged as would the hot food-to-go, the wine section and artisan bread range.
Jones said the play barn would be in keeping with the rustic style of the rest of the development
He expects the council to decide in favour of the plan at the end of July or early August because he said it created a significant number of jobs, it was great for the area and “anecdotally everything I hear so far is positive”.
Jones also stressed the importance of diversification.
“People have a lot of choice now in terms of where they shop and I think we’ve seen basket values decrease so it’s important to offer people more than just a retail experience.”
Explaining his decision to buy the site from the Mellins, he said: “I knew of it and liked the whole set-up and where it’s located. It felt like a great opportunity to get into a sector I have a passion about.”
This story was taken from the August edition of Fine Food Digest. Read more here.