Makeover for Croots Farm Shop as former Boots director joins family firm
A former director with big retail brands Boots and Asda is bringing her expertise to the family business after joining her husband full-time at Croots Farm Shop in Derbyshire.
Kay Croot is now working alongside husband Steve at the farm shop near Duffield in a move which coincides with a makeover at the award-winning shop. The outlet opened in 2008 at Farnah House Farm, Wirksworth Road – the farm where Kay grew up and where her parents Jim and Sue Yates still live. Now Kay has joined Steve full-time at the helm as they launch a new era for Croots Farm Shop with updated displays and fixtures, new lighting and a revamped product range to include a wider selection of gifts alongside the food and drink products that the store is well known for. “I’ve had more than 25 years of experience in the retail sector, working with some really famous brands like Boots, Asda and Aldi, but I’m really excited to be working with Steve full-time in the family business now,” said Kay. "Croots Farm Shop launched in 2008 and since that time we’ve become a popular store, recognised for the high quality meat, cheeses and other products we sell. In response to demand, we’ve previously expanded the store and the coffee shop, which is now known as Shires Eatery, and we have long-term plans in the pipeline which will hopefully develop the shop further. In the meantime, we’ve just given the shop a really stylish makeover which we hope our existing customers, and those new customers who haven’t yet found us, will welcome and enjoy.”
As part of the revamp, the 400 metre driveway from Wirksworth Road to the farm has been resurfaced – giving customers a smoother journey passed the fields of Shire horses and sheep as they drive to Croots Farm Shop.
Kay, who has been a buyer for Aldi, a central merchandising director as Asda, and more recently has held several senior roles at Boots including commercial director for various departments, was brought up at Farnah House Farm, where her parents farm and also breed Shire horses.
“We’ve got lots of plans to develop Croots Farm Shop by holding more events and organising different themed restaurant nights, building on the great reputation that we’ve built up over the past few years,” she explained. “Steve continues to be in charge of the day-to-day running of Croots and my role is more of a strategic overview, with the focus on events and longer term development. We make a good team and it’s great to be working together full-time.”
Croots has won scores of awards for its meat and meat products, its pies and for numerous other items that it produces in-house, including Great Taste Awards, which are the Oscars of the fine food industry. Last year, Croots Bakewell Tart was crowned the best sweet bake in a national award run by Great British Food magazine. In previous years it has been named in The Independent’s top 50 best food shops and was runner-up in the Best UK Independent Food Retailer 2010 category of the Observer Food Monthly Awards.
Employing 30 staff, the farm shop stocks products from around 40 different producers from within a 50-mile radius of the shop, and regularly holds tasting sessions to introduce customers to the producers and their food and drink.
Croots is a keen supporter of Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, which provides disadvantaged Derbyshire children with holidays in Skegness and is this year celebrating its 125 birthday. With the help of customers and staff, the farm shop has raised thousands of pounds for charity since it first opened.
Croots Farm Shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (Shires Eatery until 4.30pm) and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Croots runs Fresh Fish Thursdays between 9am and 1pm on Thursdays. For more information, visit www.croots.co.uk
Find Croots on Twitter @crootsfarm_shop or on Facebook www.facebook.com/Croots-Farm-shop