Sky Park Farm West Sussex Wins Best Small Farm Shop Retailer in the Farm Shop & Deli Awards!

Sky Park Farm Shop, Harting, West Sussex, was crowned National Winner of the Small Farm Shop Category at the Farm Shop and Deli Awards 2024 in Birmingham on Monday 29th April.  The award-winning Farm Shop was acknowledged for their exceptional local produce, service, knowledge and heritage, beating six other finalists from across the UK and Northern Ireland.

“Fresh cheese and butchery counters take a lot of skill and dedication. This shop will only go from strength to strength in the coming years. A fantastic entry,” commented a judge.

A story of regeneration and sustainability; Sky Park, a derelict dairy farm purchased in 2016, has been transformed into Sky Park Farm Shop, The Grazing Rooms and Deer Park.  The brainchild of husband and wife team, Pierce and Victoria Noonan, the farm complex opened in 2021 and is intended for their young family to develop.   Attracted by the 800-year history of deer keeping in the area, the Noonan’s were intent on restoring this traditional industry, rejuvenating paddocks and parkland for their red, white red, sika and fallow herds with welfare at front of mind. Continuing the theme of excellence and understanding the quality of local food producers, the need for a leading community-orientated Farm Shop was realised. A former pigsty and stable block were crafted to form a cutting-edge Farm Shop and restaurant. 

The bright, airy farm buildings are now stocked with fresh produce, dry goods, cakes (which we tried and unapologetically devoured in too few sittings)  specialist drinks and with incomparable butchery and deli counters, 80% of which is sourced within 30 miles of the farm. At the heart of the Farm Shop beat the tiny wings of the farm’s inhabitant bee colony, on show to visitors through their glass-fronted hive.

Sky Park’s Farm Shop has quickly become a go-to for serious foodies. The knowledgeable team are on hand to recommend seasonal and new produce. The butcher’s counter, managed by George Freeman – has tripled in size since the launch – specialises in zero miles venison raised on the farm. The addition of a dry ager, smoker (for daily specials) and a biltong larder ensures this butchery is standout. The range of prepared and marinated meats, home-smoked Great Taste award-winning bacon and summer plans for BBQ ready butterflied venison haunch and hotdogs make this counter a carnivore’s treasure trove.

We sampled the bacon, which was nothing short of perfect, and their ready-made venison lasagne and Ranger’s pie, which were both phenomenal – easy to prepare meals made on site, which cook from frozen like any homemade dish.

Overseen by Estate Retail Manager, Gaynor Oakes and her team, the Farm Shop also boasts an exceptional Deli Counter and Charcuterie, managed by popular Midhurst-based Cheesemonger, Ginny Budd.  In addition to foodstuffs, Gaynor ensures local artists, florists and producers are represented with seasonal and local gifts.

The judges, headed up by food champion Nigel Barden, drew up a shortlist of contenders before making secret visits at the start of the year. They praised Sky Park Farm with comments including:

“Great looking new farm shop. Good to see its core business of butchery direct from the farm which is its USP. The deli and retail has also evolved from this well. It’s great to see the passion of the staff and the relationship with the owner.”

“This farm shop offers everything. Local sourced, sustainability, butchery deli, restaurant and deer park. Like the idea of the internal beehive.”

“Even though this business was only set up in 2021, you can see they have a clear understanding of fresh food and retail. Love that the owners are hands on. Fresh cheese and butchery counters take a lot of skill and dedication. This shop will only go from strength to strength in the coming years. A fantastic entry.”

West Londoners can visit the farm shop, just over an hour from town, whilst making a trip for dinner at the equally impressive Grazing Rooms restaurant…

The Grazing Rooms is a destination in itself to enjoy top-quality dishes created by a wonderful team of dedicated chefs in a beautiful setting, led by our Executive Chef, Sean Williams.

The à la carte menu offers classic modern British dishes in a relaxed dining environment. Whether meeting for breakfast, a light lunch of sharing plates or exploring culinary innovations from the main menu. There’s something for everyone, including children’s menus.

Families too can enjoy a day out at the farm to visit the deer, use the adventure playground and take advantage of the children’s workshops.

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