Innovative rural entrepreneurs shared their inspiring stories of success at the Great Yorkshire Show.
The Yorkshire Food Farming and Rural Network hosted ‘Let’s celebrate! Yorkshire’s thriving rural businesses’ at the new GYS Stage on day three of the 2022 show.
The session aimed to inspire rural and farming businesses on how, through resilience and adaptability, they have been successful.
Here, we bring you a series of short audio clips from the speakers as we take their stories of perseverance and innovation to a wider audience.
The Yorkshire Pasta Company
Farmer’s daughter Kathryn Bumby (pictured below) explained how she started The Yorkshire Pasta Company in Malton in 2019 after a chance revelation whilst on a walking holiday in the Lake District.
Mystified as to why British pasta was not already commonplace on farm shop shelves, Kathryn discovered that Durum wheat, which is conventionally used to make pasta, is not high yielding in the UK.
And so Kathryn, whose professional background includes having worked for food manufacturer Nestlé, set about sourcing milling wheat in Yorkshire that could be used as the basis for her product instead.
To develop her ideas, Kathryn undertook extensive market research which included trips to Italy to learn how small artisan producers make their product.
Sustainability is close to Kathryn’s heart but finding plastic-free packaging for her pasta proved challenging and involved working with 40 different manufacturers before finding the right paper packs.
Having quit her previous job and then launching her product in 2020, The Yorkshire Pasta Company now boasts five product lines and is stocked in around 450 farm shops and delis across the UK.
Listen to this extract from Kathryn at the Great Yorkshire Show to hear more about how she has realised her dream:
Drewton’s Farm Shop
After a three-year planning battle, Katie Taylor MBE opened Drewton’s Farm Shop in South Cave in 2010.
Now, it employs around 55 staff and works with more than 250 local Yorkshire farmers, producers and suppliers.
Three years ago, the business operation expanded with the opening of Manor Rooms, a wedding and events venue which has seen Katie and her team support another 250 relevant businesses.
Katie (pictured below), who Chairs the East Yorkshire Local Food and Rural Tourism Network, explained how her businesses have had to be reinvented in recent years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To adapt, online shopping was launched and so too were local deliveries from the farm shop.
The latest challenge is the cost of living crisis. Katie said people want value for money and come with high expectations.
Producers have had to raise their costs – some as many as four times so far this year – and Katie said Drewton’s was trying its best to limit the impact on customers.
Yet there are ways to forge ahead to cut costs. Katie explained how some producers were now sharing deliveries to retailers, while staff are car sharing to save on fuel costs.
For greater insights from Katie at the Great Yorkshire Show, listen to the clip below:
Husband and wife team James and Sarah Martin have turned their “weekend hustle” into a thriving £100,000-turnover-a-month enterprise.
And it all started with the purchase of Babs, their pride-and-joy VW campervan as they set out to enjoy touring weekends as newly weds.
Having purchased a standard awning to complement the van and provide them with sheltered outside space when pitching up, the couple became disillusioned with its boring design and obvious flaws which came to a head one night during a stopover in Glencoe when their possessions were lifted out of the awning and left strewn all around them during windy weather.
Determined to find a better solution, former Harrogate-based commercial lawyer James’ experiments with fabric in his garden led to a prototype awning – or glawning (glamorous awning) – being manufactured.
The pair (pictured above) discovered they had come up with a winning product as they subsequently marketed their glawnings at popular VW motor festivals.
All looked rosy for the business in early March 2020 with 56 shows booked for the year to sell their products – only for the first COVID-19 lockdown to cause all dates to be cancelled.
Starting with a Facebook Live showcase, shot in the couple’s garden during lockdown, James and Sarah launched online sales and business boomed once more.
Hear James and Sarah talk more about their business journey at the Great Yorkshire Show by listening to the clip below: