Cafe opens at expanded farm shop that boomed during lockdown
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
When Covid-19 struck the Hirst family were on the brink of shutting their farm shop to focus on lambing and events.
But, suddenly they were unable to open Hirsty's fun park in Hemsby and people were queueing round the block for meat, veg, and flour driving a spike in demand for their produce on sale in North Road, Ormesby.
Now, in a turn of events they could not have considered before the lockdown, the ribbon has been cut on a spacious new farm shop and cafe with seating for 90 people inside and out - promising an array of tasty treats and a fishmongers to boot.
"We never thought we would have something on this sort of scale and so soon," said Becca Hirst who along with husband Robert have shouldered much of the management.
"It is exciting and scary, but we are just excited to get people in and hope they enjoy it."
Mr Hirst said without lockdown it would never have happened, and certainly not as soon, adding that the couple were further buoyed by the success of a Christmas market in the farmyard which proved an appetite for locally sourced food, prepared on the premises.
Already eight of the ten outside tables were booked, and with the inside opening on Monday May 17 in line with the next stage of lockdown loosening, hopes are high for a successful season.
Mr Hirst said it was as much about being a destination and an experience, as well as about the food, including Dabs n Crabs wet fish shop which had closed in Scratby and joined them on site at Hirst's.
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With footpaths radiating to the countryside and coast they were well placed to offer a lunch stop as part of a day out, complementing what was already on offer at Hirsty's with its maize maze and "weatherproofing" the business.
Cutting the ribbon his grandfather John Hirst hailed the hard work of everyone involved in transforming the 1955-built cattle shed - now a haven for all that is locally sourced and a hub for those looking to cut their carbon footprint and support the range of independent business selling their wares inside.
The expansion has created around seven jobs.
The farm shop will open from 9-5pm seven days a week with food being served from 9-3pm. Booking is advised via 07796101130.