Rumwell Farm Shop has become a recognised feature along the A38 Wellington to Taunton road over the last 20 years. Regular travellers may have noted its development from what was originally a farm storage unit to its current form as a highly successful farm food, butchery and grocery outlet. The addition of a spacious – and gracious – cafe alongside the shop which opened last month has now added to its considerable profile.
Anne Mitchell, who co-owns Rumwell Farm Shop and Cafe with her husband David, outlined the development of the cafe: “We’ve been asked for several years about adding a cafe. Other farm shops have cafes so we researched and decided about 3 years ago that we would do it. We added the butchery 10 years ago and had done nothing major since then.” And the distinctive curved shape? Anne said, “We decided that if we were to do it, we had to do it properly. We wanted something striking to make it stand out from the road. When the project manager came along with the architect they suggested a curve so we drew what we wanted and the architect took it from there.”
The cafe opened on 8th May and, Anne said, “The response took us by storm. We had to recruit additional staff, all local. We’ve taken on about 30 staff in the cafe – some part-time and some youngsters working weekends – alongside 4 full-time Front of House staff and 5 chefs. We’ve had a fantastic local response, both regulars and new customers. Last Saturday we served 170 lunches! We’ve removed a couple of banks outside to create more parking and we’re planning a children’s play area – eventually.”
Regular customers at the shop know that beef, pork, eggs and potatoes sold there come from the Mitchells’ own farm and that the 3 kitchens on site produce its jams, chutneys, marmalades, pies, pasties and quiches. Now the menu available in the cafe – which seats up to 80 – makes use of their own produce too. “We want the shop and cafe to be a single unit, not 2 separate parts,” Anne explained. “The cafe manager ran the deli before and now he devises the menu.”
Rumwell Farm Shop has built its reputation on providing reliable locally-sourced and produced food; now the cafe adds another dimension to what was already a very successful business. More success seems guaranteed.