Member Spotlight – Farmer Copleys

Rob Copley tells us about their the award winning business and why Wakefield.

1. Summarise your business in a couple of sentences 

Farmer Copleys Farm Shop which really takes the food experience out onto the farm. The field to fork message is strong in all aspects from the on-site butchery and bakery through to the Moo café and soon to be Beast restaurant. This is reinforced with the numerous seasonal events covering everything from asparagus and strawberries to liquorice and pumpkins!

2. Can you showcase your offering, including an example of a recent project?

Showcase of ours a good example of local food would be the Liquorice Lads Stout, which we have collaborated with Great Newsome Brewery and after much tasting came up with the winning formula, a liquorice based stout that actually tastes good, it tastes so good in fact that it has just won 3 stars at the Great Taste Awards and is due to be listed by Harrods and Selfridges! This working with local producers is key to the success of our business, we make as much as possible but the element’s we can’t make, we then work with the best local producers – to develop the highest quality great tasting fresh foods for you.

3. How long have you worked/been based in the Wakefield District?

Farmer Copleys as the farm retail business has been trading for 14 years. However the family have been farming here at Ravensknowle Farm (now you know why the shop is not called Ravensknowle Farm Shop – you would spend your life spelling it out!) for 140 years.

4. Why the Wakefield District?

The Wakefield district was not a choice available to us as the farm was already here. However, we are located perfectly, just 2 mins from the M62 and on the M62 M1 crossroads. There are lots of ‘chimney pots’ as we say locally and looking at the building of new homes locally this is only going to grow. We also benefit from the fact that our clients live within the region rather than a transient client base which many other similar businesses in other regions have. So all in all Wakefield region works for us.

5. Why have you become a Bondholder?

We have become Bondholders as the concept of working together to put Wakefield on the map, nationally and globally is great for all businesses working and communities based here. It has already opened up new avenues to us with regard to meeting new people and it would be nice to be able to say ‘near Wakefield’ rather than ‘ 15 just outside Leeds’ (not that we don’t like Leeds).

6. What’s next for the Wakefield District?

Stronger links with the other main business centres throughout the country and stronger links within the area.

7. Do you know an interesting fact about the district?

Luis XIV’s doctor at Versailles recommended that the ‘King should only use liquorice  from Pontefract as Spanish Liquorice was less medically effective.’ Farmer Copleys now home to the largest Pumpkin Festival in the UK!