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Supermarket man’s farm shop welcomed in village

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One man’s vision became reality in Billingshurst last Saturday (May 31) as he opened a farm shop.

Russell Noakes, 38, has opened Fresh in Jengers Mead, about three years after he first conceived the idea.

Having worked in supermarket retail for more than 20 years, Russell is now using his knowledge to establish his own business.

He said: “I wanted to do something and needed to do something and I was inspired, but frustrated about the lack of variety (in shops).

“Whilst I wanted to do fruit and veg, there was a concern about making it viable, so I thought about olives, cheeses and cooked meats. That expanded and I’m doing local preserves and chutneys, local chocolate, cooking sauces and spices.”

Russell moved to Billingshurst from Petworth last September and found it was the perfect place and the right time to start his new business venture.

He said: “I’ve had this idea, but it didn’t take off for about three years due to complications in health. Whilst I had the idea in my head, it was the support of family and close friends that pushed me and told me I could do it.

“I want to thank all the people who have supported me and have been very influential in making it happen. Those people know who they are.”

Speaking about the opening last week, he added: “Saturday was fantastic and really positive. The smoothies were non-stop. They have all been positive comments - people saying ‘we’ve needed it’. It’s about taking customer service back to the basics.”

He has sourced food from across Sussex and Kent and is looking for more suppliers.

He added: “I spent time looking around for products, looking into what their ethos was in terms of if they had the same views as me. I then met up with them and I took it from there.”

Any suppliers who would like him to consider selling their product can contact him on 01403 785605 or visit him in Jengers Mead.

 

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