Couple ‘can’t wait to get started on new business’ as farm shop venture opens

Phil and Anna Blumfield of Deersbrook Farm Shop and Butchery Picture: DEERSBROOK FARM SHOP

Phil and Anna Blumfield of Deersbrook Farm Shop and Butchery Picture: DEERSBROOK FARM SHOP - Credit: Archant

A couple who took over a family farm six years ago so the wife’s parents could retire and they could bring up the family there is set to open a new shop.

Anna and Phil Blumfield will be officially opening Deersbrook Farm Shop and Butchery, at Shalford Green, near Braintree, at 12.30pm, on Saturday, December 8. The shop is open all day, and Essex’s agricultural chaplain, Rev Janet Nicholls, is set to provide a blessing.

Anna, who keeps a herd of native Sussex cattle, grew up the farm, with her father, Peter Hawes, and grandfather, Horris Sydney Hawes.

She became a sports therapist, while her parents, Peter and Mary, built up a herd of continental beef cattle. She met her future husband working on the farm.

“I followed a career in sports therapy and set up a sports injury clinic on Norwich Road, Ipswich. We lived on the Shotley peninsula and whilst both working and starting our family, we kept a few pigs on neighbouring farm and watched over my parents’ cattle on nearby grazing land,” she explained. “In 2011, round a roast dinner at the farm, my father joked about swapping houses, as they were preparing to sell the farm and retire. Dad always dreamed of living by the water and we’d always wanted to work on the farm. Six weeks later we had moved our family - my husband, Phil and I with our two children Oliver, three, and Amber, one, back to the farm, living with my parents whilst they completed the build of their new property.

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“Six years on, Phil and I have built the herd back up and introduced a native breed of cattle to the farm.”

The Sussex cattle are certified 100% pasture-fed, with the meat sold directly from the farm to consumers.

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“We are now ready for the next chapter,” said Anna, “and cannot wait to get started.”

Setting up the business was a challenge, but they have had “fantastic support” from family and friends, she said. “I am extremely proud of what Phil and I have achieved over the last six years, the best part is seeing it all coming together and watching my children grow up on the farm as I did,” she said.

Rev Nicholls said: ““Anna Blumfield is a deeply committed and passionate young farmer and this shop is a big leap of faith in her amazing pasture-for-life beef.”

The venture is run in partnership with Anna’s parents.

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