A showcase for the best of Lincolnshire
Louise Fairburn, once a customer of the farm shop close to her Wolds home, has now become the owner along with husband Ian. Caroline Bingham went to meet Louise at The Wolds Edge.
Many will also recognise Louise from county shows and media as the chairman of The Lincoln Longwool Association. Since 2004 the couple have built the prize-winning Risby Flock of Longwools who graze alongside the Viking Way on pastures which surround their home.
Local quality produce
The Wolds Edge, located between Market Rasen and Tealby, was formerly known as Sunnyside Up but after acquiring the site in March, Ian and Louise chose a name which would resonate with their own connection to the local area. “I watched the previous business grow from locally reared Lincoln Red beef sold from the gate to a thriving purpose-built butchery, café and farm shop,” said Louise.
“I used to supply them with lamb from my own flock and supported their ethos of promoting locally reared, high-quality meat and produce. Ian and I share those same values, which is reflected in our business model for The Wolds Edge.”
The purpose-built butchery and café were created by the previous owners with the help of a Defra grant but Louise has refitted the interior, with new counters and walk-in fridges. “I have recruited all my own team and finding the right person to run the Butchery was very important,” explained Louise.
“Dan Wright was one of my first recruits. He trained with Jim Sutcliffe at Meridian Meats in Louth and shares my own passion for promoting rare breed meat. Dan is making his own recipe pork pies and Lincolnshire sausages which are getting rave reviews from our customers.”
The counter display in the butchery is first class, with Louise and Dan taking the Harrods Food Hall as their inspiration. It certainly grabs the attention of customers as they walk into the building. There are tempting French trimmed racks of lamb and ribs of beef, Dan’s range of artisan sausages as well as locally sourced and traceable pork, chicken and venison. The grassfed certified Lincoln Red beef is from Simon Herring at Walesby, while Darren Schofield of Osgodby supplies the pork. Heritage breed varieties include Gloucester Old Spot and Welsh Whites. The chicken is sourced from a truly free range flock in Yorkshire.
To say the display is beautiful is no exaggeration. “I must bang the drum for rare breed lamb,” said Louise. “People think of Longwools for their fleece alone but they also produce some of the finest flavour cuts available. Hogget (from a young sheep between 1 and 2 years old) is some of the finest meat you can eat.”
Next door to the Butchery counter is the Bakery and Deli counter. Alison Hugill is responsible for this section of the business. Alison produces a range of cakes, pastries and scones to serve both the retail and café customers, including delicious egg custards, quiches and sausage rolls. With these made fresh every day, Wednesday to Sunday, Alison is kept on her toes. The Deli counter offers a wide choice of artisan cheeses including locally made Cote Hill and Poacher ranges.
Chef Tanya Lee is also a local recruit, having built her career in county based hotels and gastropubs. “I have been lucky to find an all-round chef in Tanya, who was looking for an opportunity to put her own stamp and Lincolnshire twist on a menu”, said Louise. “Jane is also a key player in the kitchen with Tanya and it is fantastic that the team are interacting so well together to make the most of the produce we have in stock, to create exciting and delicious dishes.”
The café is open for breakfast, coffee, light lunches and afternoon tea. The classic on the menu is an all-day breakfast featuring Dan’s own Lincolnshire Sausages, locally sourced eggs and dry cured bacon.
The emphasis has been on dishes (or breakfasts) that clients can recreate at home, as all the ingredients can be purchased from the Butchery, Deli and Farm Shop shelves. A good lunch example is the lasagne which uses lean mince from Lincoln Red cattle, locally grown vegetables (available from the Veg Shed which is next door to the Butchery entrance door) and a béchamel sauce made with Cote Hill milk and topped with Lindum Cheese. The pasta is UK made by an artisan maker and is in stock in a range of Italian inspired flavours and shapes.
For dessert or for a sweet treat after coffee, there is plenty of choice of flavours supplied by Gainsborough based Blyton’s Ice Cream.
The cafe is filled with the delicious aroma of The Wolds Edge’s own sourced, single origin Brazilian coffee, which can also be purchased as beans or ground in the Farm Shop. The Café has already been host to several celebration events too, so do make an enquiry if you are looking to pre-book a tranquil setting, with plenty of free parking for your special occasion.
The Farm Shop
In keeping with Louise’s wish to ‘Keep it Local’ the display shelves and islands are stocked with a fabulous range of produce sourced from the Wolds and the county beyond. Rapeseed oil, honey, jams and chutneys; internationally recognised wines from the Somerby Vineyard as well as sauces, marinades, cordials, teas and sweet treats. New stock is arriving daily to add to the variety available.
Christmas is coming
The next area to open to the public, offering some fabulous ideas for presents, is a Gift Shop on the first floor. “I am taking my same quality and hand-crafted approach to the stock for the Gift Shop,” said Louise. “I have sourced UK made artisan items which will make unique gifts for Christmas and throughout the year. The range includes jewellery, cards, giftware and scented lotions for the body and home.”
Bespoke hampers can be made up from any of the produce stocked at The Wolds Edge. Whether you are looking for one dedicated to food or a ‘pamper’ theme which includes scented products and a bottle of fizz, talk to the team at The Wolds Edge to discuss your requirements.
The Butchery and Bakery will be gearing up to prepare Christmas orders for Bronze Turkeys, Christmas Cakes, mince pies, pork pies and more. The deadline to place your order will be Friday 15th December, so be sure to put the date in your diary.
Invested in the community
Louise and Ian were already well established in their local community but investing in The Wolds Edge has brought them even closer to neighbours and visitors to this area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The business is ticking so many boxes for sustainability, reduced food miles and a circular, local
With their talented and dedicated team around them, they are ready to spread the word to more customers that their doors are open and ready to give a warm welcome for all to enjoy their hospitality and excellent locally sourced produce.