Friday, 21 November 2014


In the second of our new series called Behind the Scene, we took a trip to Grayingham, near Gainsborough to Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop, Butchery and Café.  

The award winning Farm Shop, Butchery and Café based in the Lincolnshire countryside, and showcases the best in local and regional food and drink.

Winners of over 100 industry awards, the family run business continues to go from strength to strength every year.

We caught up with Emma Ward, General Manager (and the next generation of the family learning the ropes), to find out where her passion for local food and drink comes from – and to find out why the business was called Uncle Henry’s? 

Tell us about your background and how you came to the role you are in?
My passion is great tasting local food! Growing up on a pork and potato farm, I have always had an interest in food. I’ve spent the last few years exploring various aspects of food industry, from manufacturing to large scale retailing before returning home to run Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop, Butchery & Café, our family business. Our mission is to be the heart of good food; we aim to provide an exceptional customer food shopping and eating experience, making us the destination of choice for local people.

What does Lincolnshire mean to you?
Lincolnshire to me means wide open spaces, the rolling hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds, glorious sunsets and of course prime agricultural land producing much of our countries cereals, vegetables, ornamental crops, pigs, eggs & poultry, prime Lincoln Red Cattle & Lincolnshire , sheep.

How did you get started?
We are a family run farm shop, butchery and café, just off the A15 near Kirton-in-Lindsey. Uncle Henry’s was started by my parents in 2006 although we’ve been producing and butchering top quality food in our family for five generations. The business takes its name from our family friend Henry Wright who used to live in the house behind the farm shop which is still visible from our outside dining courtyard. The name of the business was taken from my brothers & I asking our Mum if we could ‘go and visit Uncle Henry’s?’ as we used to love playing in the then derelict barns when we were younger! The former agricultural barns have now been converted into the farm shop, butchery and café, retaining and enhancing many of their existing features.

Team – Tell us about your team.
All of our efforts would not be possible without our dedicated team of 24 full and part time staff members. All of our team are local people themselves, and they are essential to our business success. We are Investors in People and we invest in our team’s training and development but above all else, we make Uncle Henry’s an enjoyable place to work.

Tell us which local producers do you use
Uncle Henry’s majors on sourcing fresh, local and seasonal products. We produce and make many of the products that we sell ourselves including our award winning sausages and bacon and we’re always developing new lines to add to our range. We use as many local ingredients in our home produced added value products as we can – for example our Argy Bargy Sausage is made using Mr Huda’s Curry Paste from Scunthorpe.

We are proud to support over 40 Lincolnshire producers; our local food heroes! We see ourselves as a hub for Lincolnshire food and an outlet for local food businesses to showcase their product. We have some fantastic local producers from Primrose Free Range Eggs from Goltho, to Pollybell Organic Vegetables from Epworth, Myers Plumbread in Horncastle and local Croft Apiaries Honey from Bishop Norton whose bee’s hive on our farm.

Do you engage with local community groups or put on events?
We strive to make a positive difference to our community, whether that be through our support of other local food businesses, educating children through over 40 school visits per year, our work with local charities and groups or just being a fun destination for local people to meet, greet, relax and enjoy!

Our calendar of events is action packed and ever expanding. Some of our events have been so popular that they are now annual calendar fixture. Our annual Open Farm Sunday attracts both young and old with over 3,000 attending this year. It is a free event and a fantastic opportunity for us to bring together both the farm shop and farming side of the business and for our customers to learn more about how their food is produced. We run the event in conjunction with our local Rotary Club and all proceeds go to their chosen charities – this year, we raised £2,576.86.

In July, we ran a curry night to raise funds for Lindsey Lodge Hospice where one of our expert Lincolnshire producers ‘Green Saffron’ were chefs for the evening and we raised over £150. We also support charity events held outside of Uncle Henry’s through donations of raffle prizes for example. This year to date, we have donated over twenty high tea’s for two for events such as Hibaldstow’s Scarecrow and Open Garden Day which raised £2,546.00 and Wise Owls Nursery in Kirton-in-Lindsey who raised £224.00.

On an international platform, where does Lincolnshire sit?
One of Lincolnshire’s primary industries is Agriculture, providing export products of all agricultural commodities.

Lincolnshire is becoming a great tourist destination and through our rail and air travel links, the county is highly accessible. Uncle Henry’s caters for this growing tourist market through our position as a one stop shopping destination.

What’s your favourite food fantasy/recipe and why?
It will probably come as no surprise (being pig farmers!) that we have chosen a pork recipe as our favourite. Coming into the autumn and winter months, this is a firm favourite for Sunday lunch.

What would you say to other Select Lincolnshire members?
If you’re a grower or producer, come and speak to us – we are always looking for new products & ideas!!

How do you channel your food passion within your business and personally.
We consider our USP to be our farm to fork experience, providing the very best in locally sourced produce whether that’s grown, made or butchered here at Uncle Henry’s or sourced from our Lincolnshire suppliers. We do however need to keep our shopping experience interesting and exciting for our customers and I channel my food passion through Uncle Henry’s by always looking ahead to the next new idea to ensure that we continue to delight our customers through our fantastic food offer which is great quality and affordable.

I channel my passion for food personally through cooking and I am an avid collector of recipe books! I will happily sit down in an evening and read a good recipe book and my favourite at the moment is Rosie Ramsden’s The Recipe Wheel. I love the concept of this cookbook which turns the style of a traditional recipe book completely around. Her book is based around a range of simple core recipes such as a risotto. From this core recipe, a bit like a mind map, leads different recipe options to suit your time, the occasion and your budget.

More information

No comments:

Post a Comment