Biggest farm shop massive boost for local food and drink

A massive boost for local food and drink producers is on the cards at one of Northern Ireland’s most successful garden centres. Coleman’s at Templepatrick will open what will be Northern Ireland’s biggest farm shop later in March.


The new 4,000 sq ft shop, part of a £5 million investment at the popular garden centre and nursery, will focus on locally produced food and drink such as cider, apple cider vinegar, juices and minerals.


The farm shop, will have its own bakery, butchery counter and fishmongers, in a purpose-built extension to the garden centre which also includes an extensive restaurant. The butchery counter will offer beef dry aged matured for up to 40 days.


Richard Fry, managing director of Coleman’s, says: “We’ve a huge range of wonderful food and drink now being produced in Northern Ireland by artisan and smaller companies, and our aim will be showcase the products which have earned Northern Ireland the title of World’s Best Food Destination.


“Our new farm shop will enable smaller producers to reach a much wider audience and grow sales.


“We’ll have plenty of space to showcase the food and drink that’s readily available here. I believe we’ll be able to offer a genuine food destination, a one-stop-shop, for local people, other shoppers and visitors.


“This is a very significant development for us and one which will offer tremendous opportunities for a very broad range of local products. Farm shops within garden centres is now an important trend within the industry in Britain,” he adds. “We are the first to develop such an extensive facility for local food in Northern Ireland,” he adds.


Coleman’s has been working closely with promotion agency Food NI on identifying potential local producers to stock on its shelves and chill cabinets.


Hundreds of regular shoppers at Coleman’s had an opportunity to meet some potential food and drink suppliers and sample their products at a special event held in the garden centre.