How Marshall’s Farm Shop began…
Back in 2007, the dairying was a tough industry to be in. The cost of producing milk was continuously rising and becoming more expensive than what we were being paid for it. Kenny and his father, Charles, took the tough decision to call it a day. This was the start of diversifying into retail on a much larger scale, swapping milking cows for growing vegetables to cut out the ‘middleman’ and sell our produce direct to the general public in order for the farm to survive.
Situated 10 miles west of Aberdeen adjacent to the main A96 route between Blackburn and Kintore, we had an ideal position to set up a farm shop. The retail offering was always ‘on the go’ as far back as the 1990s, starting from an open-sided self-service trailer, then into two portacabins at each side of the dual carriageway when the kids were little. Selling homegrown tatties initially, that grew into homegrown veg, followed by free range eggs. As time went on, sadly ‘honesty wasn’t the best policy’ and this saw the start of the custom-built cabin staffed full time, and the girls took their turn at weekends. Since then, Kenny and Moira have turned around a traditional farming business and developed a thriving retail enterprise, truly representing the very best in modern Scottish farming.
A state-of-the-art building opened in 2010. Sales have grown steadily since then and we pursued permission to build our extension with the local authority. There have been many hurdles to cross, lots of challenges but here we are, with exciting plans for opening Autumn 2021. Marshall’s coffee shop will have the floor space and capacity to host (_) covers at any one time, in addition to our authentic Fireside Bothy which opened in Autumn 2020.
The farm has welcomed home a few Aberdeen Angus heifers and bull to start off our own herd. This will allow us to breed what is known as some of the best beef in the world. All our cattle are reared to the highest standards of welfare and are allowed to roam the fields until winter comes, when they are brought inside and fed silage.
All cattle are slaughtered at our local abattoir, and the carcasses are hung on the bone to allow time for the beef to mature before butchering at award-winning Forbes Raeburn, in Huntly, which is then sold directly to the customers in the farm shop, meaning the highest quality produce is offered at an affordable price.
We pride ourselves in the consistency of our offering; homegrown produce, from farm gate to dinner plate in minutes, serving the very best in everything from homemade soups and sandwiches, traditional and simple-cooked meals, breakfasts and fine pieces that all taste fantastic. As well as a take-away service, it is the perfect place to drop in for a delicious taste of the country. Everything is made on the premises, which ensures the fresh consistent quality. All staff are trained to provide an exceptional customer service.
Within the farm shop, alongside home-reared quality meat with complete provenance, homegrown tatties / vegetables and free-range eggs, they source the finest local and small business foodstuffs. Stocking everything from venison, ice cream and preserves, showcasing many trusted and well-loved suppliers, as well as the extensive range of homemade products, from pies, delicatessen items, home-baking and desserts.