Balsall Common farm shop looking to expand after successful five years in business

From left: Trevor Day (Burgis and Bullock) and Gary Oakes.
From left: Trevor Day (Burgis and Bullock) and Gary Oakes.

A Balsall Common farm shop and café celebrating five years in business is looking to expand as its popularity continues to grow.

Oakes Farm Shop, off Balsall Street, opened in 2013, turning a long-term dream into a reality for owner Gary Oakes and his family.

They had farmed the land for several generations but had first toyed with the idea of starting a business on the back of suggestions from loyal customers who had been buying home-produced eggs on site for many years.

Now the shop is the sole business focus for Gary and his wife Jayne, who rent out their farming land to a neighbour.

Gary said: “The shop has essentially grown from an honesty box placed on the edge of the farm to our main focus.

“We were talking about making the leap for a number of years before actually doing so and five years later we are in a position to look at expanding. The whole operation is just growing and growing.

“Over the next 12 months we want to expand our café area and are drawing up plans. We have a growing customer base with local people, and those who visit from Kenilworth and Leamington."

Gary was helped by accountancy firm Burgis and Bullock when he set up the business five years ago.

Trevor Day of Burgis and Bullock said: “Oakes Farm Shop is a perfect example of a farming family diversifying their business and moving with the times.

“They have a wonderful site, excellent facilities, great products and are well known and respected in their community.

“With Brexit looming, the majority of farmers are looking to diversify their business to insulate against the impact of reduced subsidies. I could not think of a better example than Gary and his family.”