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I've just been to my local farm shop only to find that this year they have introduced "Winter Opening Hours" and are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Now I realise it's got to be worth their while to open, and they're as entitled to their leisure time as anybody else, but do they seriously think that that having found an alternative source of supply for the Winter I am going to rush back to them, cash in hand, next Spring?
They probably open on SAT and Sun like the Supermarkets and need a couple of days off.
You obviously find what they sell is worth going for and the quality and price is acceptable for fresh produce.
They may find that it is not worth opening on Monday and Tuesdays as they do not get enough customers. A lot of people visit shops on a weekend because they work all week.
During the colder days they also have to provide heating for the shop and with the price of fuel these days being what it is, it probably cost more to heat the shop than they take in sales during those days. Winter Opening Hours are something I have not heard of but it may catch on in these changing time.
Many of our local shops take Monday as a closing day. Others have Wednesday or Thursday Half Day Closing so it's not new.
I remember in the olden days when shops would have half day wednesday too, and our nearest john lewis would close on mondays which was not that long ago.
I accept all the above points, but the fact remains that this shop is expecting to be subsidised over the winter season by a shop which does commit to 7 day opening, probably with just as many overheads and staff problems.
Just for the record, I know of at least four within a twenty mile radius, there are probably more if I looked.
If I get used to using one of these for the next six months I am unlikely to change back next spring.
Can you explain 'Subsidised by' a shop.
The problem with farm shops is that they are often so much more expensive than local supermarkets. Fine perhaps as you may be getting locally produced fresher goods but many of the things they stock are definitely not grown locally. Most farms don't grow things 52 weeks/year so how they can open 52 weeks/year selling their produce is debatable. To me most of them are just another rip off.
A true farm shop sells local produced food and its customers should/would reject anything not local. Some farm shops are the only way the farmers get a fair price (higher maybe) for their produce.
If they do sell additional goods it is probably a result of local demand and they supply as a service to their customers.
The first farm shops were probably the little stalls at the farm/smallholding gate and grew from there.
Do you only shop on Mondays or Tuesdays?
Is this why you go elsewhere?
There are several farm shops local to me and I use two of them regularly. I find that you get what you pay for. The poultry may be dearer than supermarket fare but it tastes better and didn't spend its short life in a cage. Its all local, you can step outside the shop and see it. The veg is cheaper than in the supermarkets and it seems to last longer in the pantry. Its locally produced too and I have got used to it being seasonal, something the supermarkets had made me forget.
The opening hours are short but I can work around them; the owners do have full time jobs on the farm after all.
Normally only on Mondays.
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