Virtual Tours

If you’ve attended Stronger Together in the past, you’ll be well acquainted with our bus tours!  Join us for a magical mystery tour of some of the best in the business, going behind the scenes and getting an inside perspective from your peers.

This year we have two options for you, as outlined below. Each tour will have a lead facilitator, ensuring you are in safe hands and encouraging networking and knowledge sharing on the coach itself.

Each tour will take place from approximately 8.30am – 4pm on Tuesday 1st March, departing from (and returning to) the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. Full timings and details will be confirmed in due course.

BROCKSBUSHES – PYO perfection and development plans a-plenty

Brocksbushes is a family-run Fruit Farm which has been growing PYO strawberries for 40 years in the heart of Northumberland.

They started with an acre of soft fruit with a tiny farm shop which was open for 8 weeks in the year, and now have an award-winning Farm Shop & Tea Room that are open all year round, alongside pick your own strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, plums and pumpkins.

The team at Brocksbushes continue to develop their PYO offer and recently installed their first strawberry tabletops for the 2021 season, improving sustainability. All of their fruit is grown outside and visitors love being out in the countryside whilst they pick.

With exciting development plans in place for a brand new farm shop (and likely mid-construction, come March 2022!), the team will fill you in on what the future holds for Brocksbushes.

MOOR HOUSE FARM – A lot to learn from this longstanding and well managed outfit

The Byett family has farmed in Northumberland for generations, and if they don’t produce it themselves they always know somebody local who does! The farm produces the very best beef, pork and lamb for our butchery, and are very proud of their reputation for quality, range and value.

A firm favourite of FRA chairman Rob Copley, Moor House Farm is well respected in the industry and Ian and his team are always very generous with their time, experience and knowledge, sharing their learnings (and mistakes) with countless farm shops through the years.

BLAGDON FARM SHOP – Destination shopping experience with something for everyone

Blagdon Farm Shop have been passionate about growing, rearing and cooking the very best local food for nearly 15 years. With over 50 local producers on their shelves complimented by some of the finest names from not only the British Isles but also further afield. Blagdon have an award winning craft butchery, their own bakehouse as well as a huge grocery selection.

The farm at Blagdon covers 2500 acres (1250 football pitches) of beautiful South East Northumberland countryside and is part of The Blagdon Estate, home of the Ridley family. The Estate is home to a fully formed destination shopping experience, with the farm shop and cafe sitting alongside other retailers and outlets including an art gallery, beauticians and clothing stores. With a wedding venue and other events spaces on site, this business really does cover a wide array of options for any farm shop considering hosting additional retail outlets or adding an events space to their offering.

FENWICKS FOOD HALL – This city centre spectacular is a feast for the eyes… and tastebuds

A spectacular Food Hall showcasing the finest regional and international produce. The layout and aesthetics of this high-end hall offers never ending inspiration. The Deli Counter is home to a carefully curated range of local and international cheese and charcuterie, as well as heart-warming pies, quiches and succulent meats cooked by on-site chefs.

Saltwater Fish Co and Porterhouse Butcher and Grill counters serve fresh fish and meat of the finest provenance, whilst the Artisan Bakery offers produce handcrafted by a team of highly skilled bakers with bread made with flour from locally based Gilchesters Organics, supporting the art of traditional milling and heritage grains in the North East.

A Grocery department offers pantry staples as well as delicious, speciality foods and perfect culinary gifts – not to mention playing host to a pop-up pantry from Daylesford Organic. A luxury Chocolate and Confectionery department boasts tempting treats and gourmet gifts, whilst the Wine Room offers a carefully selected range of wines, champagnes, spirits, ports and craft beers. A must visit for all foodies visiting Newcastle.

BROOM HOUSE FARM – Small but perfectly formed with a fantastic butchery offering

Broom House Farm Shop is at the centre of an organic farm in the Browney Valley overlooking Durham City. The farm has been registered as organic with Organic Farmers & Growers (FA002017) since 2005. Jane and Mark breed and rear their own 100% pure Aberdeen Angus beef, lamb, mutton and rare breed British Saddleback pork, hams, sausages and bacon and all beef and lamb is grass fed. This is the place to shop if you value the best flavoured beef, lamb and pork in Durham!

The Farm Shop sells a wide range of complementary and local products, including organic milk and butter, cheese, vegetables, beers, honey, cards and unusual gifts.

Broom House Farm is also home to a Forest Adventure, providing an action packed fun family day out…or just a lovely green leafy space to take a walk with the family.

KNITSLEY FARM SHOP – A popular all-rounder with livestock at its heart

Knitsley Farm Shop boasts all the best elements of a traditional farm shop, from on-site livestock production filtering through to the butcher counter, to a well-stocked deli and extremely popular café. Knitsley farm also boasts an artisan bakery which was added 10 years ago, sited in the upstairs of the former ‘old granary’ which was built in the late 1700’s.

This 200 acre mixed site is currently farmed by the sixth generation of the Jewson family, with the seventh generation learning the ropes of this diversified farm business.

The business is very self-sufficient and sustainable, with on-site production, processing, catering and retailing providing much employment for local people (currently 20 full time and 12 part time).

The farm shop was founded on the premise that it could provide everything required to enjoy a dinner party with friends, from succulent cuts of meat to local wine! To complement this, Knitsley also offer a wonderful array of fresh fruit and veg working within the seasons and using only the best quality produce supplied by a local greengrocer.

MAINSGILL FARM SHOP – Admired by peers and loved by customers – Mainsgill is an industry powerhouse

The granary food hall at Mainsgill Farm boasts 10,000 sq foot dedicated to retail over two floors. where customers are able to pick up firm family favourites to exquisite fine foods, all under one roof. The food hall centres round a unique showcase counter featuring award-winning home-reared meats, delicatessen and award-winning bakery. The butchery counter takes centre stage, thanks to a high demand for traditionally home-reared meats straight from the farm.

During the year of COVID, the Mainsgill team along with a crew of local tradesmen and suppliers set to work on an impressive two story expansion, providing additional retail space upstairs for a clothing and gift department, with an extended food and kitchen. Mainsgill’s latest expansion has created a truly unique destination for shoppers.

FENWICKS FOOD HALL – This city centre spectacular is a feast for the eyes… and tastebuds

A spectacular Food Hall showcasing the finest regional and international produce. The layout and aesthetics of this high-end hall offers never ending inspiration. The Deli Counter is home to a carefully curated range of local and international cheese and charcuterie, as well as heart-warming pies, quiches and succulent meats cooked by on-site chefs.

Saltwater Fish Co and Porterhouse Butcher and Grill counters serve fresh fish and meat of the finest provenance, whilst the Artisan Bakery offers produce handcrafted by a team of highly skilled bakers with bread made with flour from locally based Gilchesters Organics, supporting the art of traditional milling and heritage grains in the North East.

A Grocery department offers pantry staples as well as delicious, speciality foods and perfect culinary gifts – not to mention playing host to a pop-up pantry from Daylesford Organic. A luxury Chocolate and Confectionery department boasts tempting treats and gourmet gifts, whilst the Wine Room offers a carefully selected range of wines, champagnes, spirits, ports and craft beers. A must visit for all foodies visiting Newcastle.

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