2019 FRA Open Days & Workshops

Get behind the scenes at some of the UK’s leading Farm Retailers. Open Days include a Farm Shop tour, Q&A with the owners and managers and networking with other farm retailers.

Farm Shop & PYO Open Days 2019

Each Open Day has a theme and includes presentation including from some suppliers who are experts in their field. Lunch is included. 


Wednesday 1st May

Fordhall Farm Shop

Customer Service Skills with Insight6

Wednesday 1st May 09.30am - 4.00pm

(Note this is a change of date from 3rd April originally scheduled)



The Customer Experience workshop will open your mind up to the world of CX and what can be achieved to make your business a leader in the field. Great CX = more revenues, higher team motivational and greater profit. It's a must seminar for anyone serious about creating a great future proof business.

Aimed at owners, managers, team leaders and supervisors, this workshop is led by Insight6.


09.30am Arrival registration tea/coffee
10.00am Welcome, Introduction to Fordhall Organic Farm
10.30am Customer Experience (CX)
- what is CX?
- the difference between customer service and experience
- it all starts with the leader
- the 5 steps you need to take to be a CX leader

12.15pm Tour of farm & Shop 
1.00pm Lunch & Networking
2.00pm Measurement and Feedback
- how to measure the experience in your business
- how to make your team accountable for the experience
- how to coach and train to give the team the right skills
- action planning – what are you going to do about it?

3.30pm Tea/coffee networking
4.00pm Finish

Fordhall is also one of the longest running natural organic farms in England and has been chemical free for over 65 years. They rear cattle, sheep and pigs on an outdoor extensive grazing system and have been in community-ownership since 2006. Fordhall Farm is now tenanted and run by the founder's son, Ben Hollins. Everything Ben rears at Fordhall is sold direct to the public through the farm shop, online shop, farmers’ markets or outside catering.

Venue: Fordhall Organic Farm, Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 3PS

Booking: The Open Day is charged at £75pp + VAT for members, and include lunch & refreshments. Non-members are able to attend £125pp + VAT , please contact the FRA office. Members only can book online by credit card using the link below. Please note spaces are limited book early to avoid disappointment.



Wednesday 15th May

Croots Farm Shop

Advanced Level Retreat (ALR)

Wednesday 15th May: 09.30am - 4pm



The FRA conference can be a time when as a group we have a willingness to open up and share our successes, tricks, failures, hardships and vulnerabilities. This can make for a unique, once a year experience.

The ALR (Advanced Learning Retreat), is a new concept for FRA and is designed to take this learning to the next level.

The plan is to undertake an in-depth study on Croots farm shop. The day will start with an in-depth tour of the business by Kay and Steve looking at all arms of the business. Kay and Steve are willing to open their doors to us, warts and all explaining what they feel they are great at and more importantly where they are struggling.

The group will be looking at all aspects of the business, Sales, Purchasing, Waste Management, HR, Structure and Marketing.

The group will then retire to a classroom situation where we will analyse an in-depth SWOT analysis on the business. Whilst the Croots model will be written out on an A1 Flip chart the group will be encouraged to analyse their own business personally at the same time.

This will then be followed by a detailed group discussion about the structure, team, management and opportunities. Hopefully the day will end not so much with a firm plan but with lots of ideas that Kay, Steve and the group can take home.

Croots Farm Shop offers a Farm Shop, Deli, Butchery, Scratch Bakery, café and Wedding Venue with several themed events throughout the year. The farm shop opened in 2008 at Farnah House Farm in Derbyshire. The idea came from Steve, Kays husband after the success of his own herbs and oil business and they have won over 100 awards especially lots of ‘Great Taste Awards’ 

Elliot Rich

The day will be facilitated by Elliot Rich, Elliot is the Managing Director of The Alternative Board (TAB), covering York and the North Yorkshire region where he operates as a coach and advisor to private business owners and leaders.
A graduate from UMIST in Management Science, Elliot began his career in Human Resource Management with Unilever in 1995 and then onto United Biscuits (McVities) in London before becoming Sales & Marketing Director in his family engineering business in Halifax where for 17 years he guided the team to international success. In 2012 Elliot went to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen where he was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade on behalf of the business. Having held Board level positions within various engineering and manufacturing companies, Elliot has spent many an hour discussing and implementing strategies with business owners and their management teams. It is this insight and knowledge gained over 20 years that he wishes to share amongst fellow business owners to help them strive towards their personal and business goals.

Venue: Croots Farm Shop, Duffield, Derbyshire DE56 4AQ

Booking: The ALR is charged at £150pp + VAT (members only). Please note, for obvious reasons this group will be limited to a maximum of 8 delegates and is aimed more at those with a proven track record. In the event the retreat is oversubscribed, attendees will be chosen for the attributes and mix of skill set they bring.  The charge for the day will be £150 per delegate and it will be generally accepted that if you fill out the application form you will be willing to pay the £150 if chosen. To register an interest in the ALR please email [email protected]


Tuesday 2nd July

Barton Grange

Making the most of Christmas

Tuesday 2nd July: 09.30am - 4pm

Barton Grange is a multi award-winning Garden Centre, Farm Shop, Cook Shop & much more. They have won many awards for their Christmas displays and run a sell-out Santa event. The Farm Shop stocks an exclusive range of Christmas hampers and they offer an ordering and collection service for fresh meats and desserts.



09.30am Arrival registration tea/coffee
10.00am Welcome presentation Barton Grange history

10.15am Presentation on general merchandising, why we have a dedicated display team and how it supports the business.
11.00am Break

11.15am Presentation on the production of Christmas, planning, buying, visual etc.
12.00pm Tour of the centre pointing key areas for Christmas. 
1.00pm Lunch & Networking
2.00pm Presentation on Marketing, website and graphic production.
Depending on time tour the Flower Bowl our onsite Entertainment Centre.
3.00pm Presentation on the Farm shop, product selection, Christmas food, hampers etc.

3.45pm Tea/coffee networking

4.00pm Finish


Venue: Barton Grange, Garstang Rd, Brock, Preston PR3 0BT

Booking: The Open Day is charged at £75pp + VAT for members, and include lunch & refreshments. Non-members are able to attend £125pp + VAT , please contact the FRA office. Members only can book online by credit card using the link below. Please note spaces are limited book early to avoid disappointment. 


Wednesday 2nd October

Denstone Hall

Catering Results Booster

Wednesday 2nd October: 09.30am - 4pm

The multi award-winning Denstone Hall were winners of the FRA Best Farm Cafe/Restaurant of the Year award 2019 and best Large Farm Shop.

This workshop is for owners, Catering Managers and Supervisors so that they may improve the standards and profitability of their café restaurants. It was a sell-out when we ran this workshop last year.

The workshop is run by Chris Brown from Turpin Smale Catering Consultants. Chris has extensive experience of working with farm based cafes and restaurants and writes the Great Cafe's blog.

Arrival:  9.30am
Opening Session: 10.00am
Lunch and Site Visit: 12.30pm + 30 minute site visit
Afternoon Session: 13.30pm
Finish: 15.30pm

10.00 Welcome – from host venue

• Introductions and Objectives - Chris Brown

• Who does it well - Role Models

• Understanding our Customers Buy with your eyes presentation, Customer Counter journey, Menus

• Measuring the Café’s Performance Sales, Food & Labour Cost, Av. Spend per Transaction

• Labour Cost and the Living Wage

• Profit Exercise: Calculations. Please bring a calculator or use your smart phone


• Food & Drink Innovations and trends, Why have quality, Why not sell confectionary

• New Products & Innovation

• Busting Queues and Service Systems

• Kids Food

• Pricing

• Key Lessons Learnt


Venue: Denstone Hall Farm Shop, Staffordshire ST14 5HF 

Booking: The Open Day is charged at £75pp + VAT for members, and include lunch & refreshments. Non-members are able to attend £125pp + VAT , please contact the FRA office. Members only can book online by credit card using the link below. Please note spaces are limited book early to avoid disappointment.