Family has always been at the heart of Orton Grange Farm’s diversification and 14 years on from the sites original launch, 2018 has been the busiest yet for the Martin family and the 7 businesses they host. It’s been a landmark year for the farm business hub with the sites much loved Café and Gift Shop business transitioning to new owner Kimberley Trow and 2 further Cumbrian businesses Absolute Physio and Fyne Fish launching their services and products.
Richard Martin who runs the families 500 cattle working dairy farm and his sister Claire originally diversified in 2004, opening a small farm shop, Café and Gift Shop. Over the years The Shearing Shed Hair Salon, The Loft Beauty Rooms and Carlisle Swim School opened and the Gift shop and Café grew. The biggest expansion came in 2013 when Cranstons Food Hall opened on the site in a large purpose built extension to the stone barn complex which offers customers free car parking just off the busy A595. In total over 70 people are now working at Orton Grange Farm within 7 businesses.
Claire has recently retired, handing the beautiful barn café and independent gift shop she had built up from scratch, a real labour of love over to Kimberley Trow. The reigns were handed from one family to another as Kimberley’s mum Ally runs the 7 stylist Shearing Shed hair salon on the site.
Kimberley said: “I am really excited to have taken on the Café and Gift Shop. The gift shop has a fantastic product range with a lovely selection of baby gifts and a whole host of quality brands from Katie Loxton and Joma Jewellery to Sophie Allport, Voyage and Polish Pottery. The Café has seen the biggest change so far as we now open every Sunday and bank holiday Monday, have launched a more comprehensive breakfast menu including our ‘Farmers Full English’ which is available all day on a Sunday. We are planning to open the café as an evening venue. The whole team is really looking forward to a live acoustic night featuring local musicians Kerry Weir and David Mason on the 31st August.”
Two other Cumbrian businesses have recently launched at Orton Grange. Penrith based Absolute Physio are now running a satellite clinic every Wednesday in a treatment room within the hair salon and Fyne Fish Cockermouth winners of the Deli and Farmshop Fishmonger of the Year 2018 award have launched a range of prepacked Fish into Cranstons Food Hall.
Sharon Heron owner of Fyne Fish said: “It’s great to be asked by Cranstons to come on board with them at Orton Grange. Our quality fresh fish compliments their meat offer brilliantly and Peter and his team have been really supportive, at the moment we are replenishing the shelves regularly with our best selling lines from fresh salmon to fresh scallops but we are able to take orders if any customers have specific requests.”
Peter Potts who has managed Cranstons Food Hall since its opening in 2013 said: “It’s great to see the whole site is thriving and continuing to evolve, all the independent businesses here offer something different to the modern generic high street and supermarket experience.”
Established business the Loft Beauty Rooms run by Paula Dunn and Hayley Sewell has also expanded. The beauticians which specialises in Elemis face and body treatments offers a full range of general beauty treatments from nails to waxing has recently moved into bigger premises on the site which has worked really well for the business. Paula said: “Our new bigger treatment centre has been great for business as it’s tucked away from the other businesses on site and offers a quiet and relaxing environment for our customers, I am sure it’s not that normal to find a beauticians on a farm next to the cow sheds but it works for us!”
Karen Robertson runs Carlisle Swim School and Baby and Toddler Swimmers with exclusive use of the Pool at Orton Grange and over 600 children on her books said: “Orton Grange is an incredible place, it still has a real family feel and all the businesses are very supportive of each other. It works wonderfully as a venue for a swim school as parents enjoy coming and use the whole site whilst they are here from the Café to Cranstons brilliant local produce food hall and the hair salon and beauty treatments. Richard and his sister Claire have always been very supportive of the businesses on site here and have helped us all grow.”