From B&M last week to a top-end organic farm shop this week. No-one can accuse me of not covering both ends of the retail spectrum.
Daylesford has become something of a pioneering fixture in the world of organic food, founded as an organic farm by Lady Bamford over 35 years ago in the Cotswolds.
Since then it has grown into a sizeable business, encompassing farming, processing, online home delivery, stores, spas and hotels. Its retail activities consist of the mothership store in Kingham, Gloucestershire, a presence in the Selfridges food hall plus locations in Notting Hill, Pimlico, Marylebone and this new store that opened last week in Brompton Cross.
Billed as a combination of farm shop and café, the 7,500 sq. ft. store is spread across three floors, all of which are arrayed around a massive trunk from a dead oak tree on the farm that “represents our roots in the Cotswolds and a commitment to protecting and preserving our natural resources.” It makes for a remarkable centrepiece and is also to blame for some of the artier images that you see before you.
The store’s basement is devoted to home and wines, with the former including some rather lovely products in areas such as books, household textiles, stationery, kitchenware, cleaning, health & beauty, tableware and home fragrance. The wine range, produced by affiliated vineyards, was small but perfectly formed.
The top floor is devoted to an organic café that seats around 80 diners, with a very impressive menu prepared to order in a charming open-plan kitchen. I can vouch for the excellence of the burger although I’m waiting to see if my expenses will get approved as the bill totally smashed through our spending limit for a lunch. Fingers crossed…
The main farm store is located on the ground floor and I have to say that it is done very well indeed. A lot of the product is from the Daylesford farm or is processed by the company and there’s a jolly nice range of Daylesford-branded SKUs in both chilled and ambient.
Daylesford’s own creamery provides the cheeses and organic dairy produce on sale, while the bread is from the bakery at the farm. The organic fruit, vegetables and salad are provided by Daylesford’s organic market garden, while the meat and fresh fish counters sell products from organic and sustainable sources only. The meat counter is complemented by an ageing cabinet that adds a nice touch, while shoppers can also avail themselves of a juice bar and a food-to-go counter selling sandwiches and salads.
The chilled range includes a decent array of soups, ready meals and ingredients, with the produce display offering a more than respectable selection of seasonal items displayed in some marvellous wooden fixtures. Another highlight is the rather fetching central bakery counter.
Overall, this is a beautiful store with an excellent proposition in both retail and foodservice. I thoroughly recommend a visit, perhaps after payday or a modest lottery win.
Bryan Roberts, Global Insights Director