A Cut Above the Rest – How Solid Advice Helped Bartlett’s Farm Shop Become Cream of the Crop
Launched in October 2009, Bartlett’s Farm shop, near Honiton, has been growing from strength to strength since opening its doors to the public. In 2012 it extended its offer to include a new coffee shop and last year won the John Neason Diversification Award at the Devon County Show.
Set up as a family business, the shop came part and parcel of a 400- acre rented farm, which Angela and Leonard Bartlett took over in 2009. Run down and part derelict, the farm shop was renovated by Angela, Leonard and their daughters Rebecca and Nicola, who run the business in partnership with their parents.
Using their previous farm shop experience, having worked at The Orange Elephant outside Exeter and Barleymows, near Chard, Rebecca and Nicola have created a strong identity for the business. For over three generations, the Bartlett family has been dedicated to nurturing and celebrating great tasting food and it’s that farming and butchery heritage that lies at the heart of the shop.
Today, Bartlett’s Farm Shop stocks a large variety of local Devon produce with a fresh meat and deli counter. Their parents’ farm, run in partnership with their brother Jack, supplies the majority of the beef and lamb, which is hung for at least 21 days for maximum flavour and tenderness.
Stocking award winning homemade sausages, burgers, fresh vegetables, chutneys and preserves, freshly baked breads from Seaton, eggs from Whimple with chickens and ducks from Crediton, the farm shop celebrates the very best that over 30 local producers have to offer.
Hugely popular, the farm shop’s success has not been achieved without plenty of hard work and sound advice.
Over the years Simpkins Edwards, which has a highly regarded reputation in the agricultural sector – advising both farm and family businesses – has been on hand to offer guidance, specialist tax and business advice. Mary Jane Campbell, herself a farmer, a Chartered Tax Adviser and Partner at Simpkins Edwards, has worked closely with the family. “It’s been a pleasure working with the Bartletts”, says Mary Jane. “Throughout our professional relationship we’ve advised on the farm accounts, funding strategies and we’ve provided guidance on how best to extract profit from the Farm Shop. We’ve offered guidance on matters such as maternity leave and profit share while Nicola took time out to have her two children and we’ve also managed payroll for the shop.
“We’ve advised on the most tax efficient methods of recovering Angela and Leonard’s initial investment in the farm shop and we’ve given guidance on wealth generation and future succession planning; something that many family owned businesses in the farming sector need to consider.”
Angela Bartlett, who runs the accounts for both Hayne Farm and Bartlett’s Farm Shop, says: “It’s been great to have Mary Jane’s advice over the years. We’ve worked together since 2000 in respect of the farm accounts and, latterly, the farm shop.”
‘Mary Jane’s insight and advice has been invaluable, helping us to set up the partnerships for the farm and Bartlett’s Farm Shop. Whenever we’ve needed her, she’s been there. She’s helped us with our bookkeeping, VAT, gross margins and profitability. She has been a great sounding board, which is what you need in a family-owned business.
“Her independent, objective perspective, grounded in solid tax expertise, gives us the confidence to try new ideas, such as the coffee shop, safe in the knowledge that we’ll be in the best position to maximise opportunities as tax efficiently as possible.