A SIX-FIGURE investment to set up a farm shop in the shadow of Penshaw Monument is to create seven new jobs.
Farmer Anthony Green is planning to spend £100,000 to build the shop, attached to Penshaw Nursery and Tea Rooms, and will sell meat from his farm in West Rainton when it opens in September.
He is planning two extensions, one to the nursery building to provide the farm shop and a second, to the tea rooms, to improve food preparation areas and facilities.
The garden nursery and tea rooms were opened five years ago on the former East Barnwell Farm.
Anthony says the tea rooms, in particular, have proved so popular that there is no longer enough space for the growing workforce.
“We now employ 18 staff, and we never anticipated we would have that many when we started.
“We quite often have queues and operate on a one-in, one-out basis.
“We have been very lucky in that respect. It suits quite a lot of people what we are doing.”
Anthony said they started thinking about the possibility of a butcher’s farm shop a couple of years ago.
“We felt that there was a need for a farm and butcher’s shop in the area,” he said.
“We’ve had feedback from customers, and they would like to see a farm shop.”
The move will also make financial sense for Anthony and his family. He said: “The price of lamb is now £35 each, which is less than the year before, but the price is still the same in the supermarket.
“We sell them at auction for whatever we can get.
“We have 700 lambs, so it adds up.”