Holwood Farm Shop, offering food for thought
PUBLISHED: 09:34 24 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:21 31 July 2013
Keston store offers produce you can really appreciate
Theres never been a better time to know exactly whats gone into your food, and at Holwood Farm Shop and Deli in Keston, husband and wife Gary Mercer and Sarah Clout offer food for thought and food with thought.
Frustrated at the lack of regional produce in the high street, they swapped city life for the good life in 2009 to spend three years renovating a derelict barn, turning it into a beautiful shop and caf complex. They welcomed their first customers in October 2012 with the shop packed to the (new) rafters with field-to-fork produce that gives you a real taste of the Garden of England.
Were fanatical about local produce and try to combine the best of farmers markets and delicatessens under one roof without those rows upon rows of jams and chutneys, says Sarah. We can always tell our customers who made each product and where it comes from.
So, whether youre popping in for your weekly groceries, ingredients for a special meal, a celebration cake, or a regional hunk (cheese that is!), the Holwood difference is that you can be assured everything is sourced from trusted producers. Most are based in Kent and neighbouring counties.
Take Holwoods scrumptious fruit and vegetables, for example, grown locally in the Weald of Kent; its fantastic potatoes, bagged up and delivered soil-on from the Morghew Park Estate in Tenterden; or its regular deliveries of fresh Weald Smokery fish and meat, and award-winning local cheeses.
Theres also a meaty selection of British charcuterie, including chorizo, air-dried hams, cured bacon and salami; a tempting selection of bread baked on the premises; free-range local meat from Monkshill Farm near Whitstable and handmade, oven-ready meals from Gingers Kitchen. Gary and Sarah speak to their suppliers on a regular basis, finding out whats good to eat now, so you have a fresh-as-a-daisy choice.
Many of the items available at the farm shop are also on the menu at the bustling first-floor coffee shop, where you can relax with the Sunday papers, locally roasted coffee and a slice, or tuck into meat and cheese platters, handmade Scotch eggs and afternoon tea. Whats more, this summer, you can enjoy it all alfresco in a new outdoor seating area.
One of the greatest attractions of Holwood Farm is the opportunities to try before you buy.
Customers really appreciate our regular tastings and meet the producer events they provide the perfect opportunity to discover new flavours, adds Sarah.
Theres also a snug spot for craft and social groups to meet, and cyclists can swap their water bottles for warming cuppas with our new cycle racks (and locks), and pre-booked lunches for bikers looking for refreshment en-route. Its a fantastic spot for simply chilling out and filling those panniers!
Indeed, if youre on foot and keen for fresh air, Gary and Sarah can pack you off with a delicious picnic hamper too, with two, three or four-courses, a local cheeseboard, English fruit juices, real ales and wine complete with cutlery, glasses and napkins all wrapped in a easy to carry picnic box.
So whether its food to go or food to indulge in, Holwood will ensure your store cupboard never goes bare. Have a bite and a browse and say hello!
Holwood Farm Shop and Coffee Shop
New Road Hill
Opening times: Tues Fri 9 5; Sat and Sun 10 4; closed Mondays