Over Farm Market nominated for Taste of Gloucestershire award
FAMILY business Over Farm Market has always been proud of its local roots.
Opened in 1982 by Rob and Sue Keene, their aim to provide the best locally grown, fresh, seasonal produce, has remained unchanged.
The idea of opening the shop on the farm came from Rob's experiences of working on a farm market near Chicago.
In the beginning, the couple grew onions and potatoes in large quantities at the farm, which is just off the A40 in Over.
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Rob said: "Frequently people would call in to buy sacks of these vegetables, so we had realised that there was a desire to buy direct from the producer, even then."
So over the years, more different vegetables were grown to meet that demand.
"Soon we had a good range," Rob said. "Strawberries were added in the late 80s and a pick your own enterprise was started to enhance the shop."
Shortly afterwards, a deli counter was added and local cheese was sold along with cold meats.
Rob said: "The mid 90s saw a change in people's buying habits. As people became more affluent, we saw a decline in basic foods sold in bulk and an increase in more upmarket foods.
"Tasty foods became the focus.
"For example, when we started we barely sold any bunched carrots, but when people appreciated their better flavour, they soon became the favourite, and more were sold than loose carrots."
A butcher's shop was opened which became yet another great success. "People like to see meat sourced from local animals. Also customers appreciate that well matured meats taste so much better than the supermarket ones," said Rob
With a planning application being recently approved for a new shop to better display more of the farm's produce, and the plans for another retail outlet near Matson in order to sell more of Over Farm's produce, Rob and Sue are looking to the future.
Rob said: "If we won the Taste of Gloucestershire Awards, it would be a huge honour, and it would raise more awareness for fruit and veg.
"Anything to generate local interest in local produce would be brilliant."
Taste of Gloucestershire Award aim to recognise the best of our local food and drink producers and suppliers.
The judges will make a final decision on the Taste of Gloucestershire Awards before a ceremony in October.