Innovative Surrey pub offers taste revolution in Buckland
PUBLISHED: 14:44 23 September 2011 | UPDATED: 05:33 20 May 2014
Buckland villagers are getting used to a most unusual late night corner shop on their doorstep. Well, not a shop exactly, more of a pub, but not quite... Anyway, it's revolutionary, it's fun: it's the Jolly Farmers Food Emporium!
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2008
Words by Jane Garrett
Jon and Paula Briscoe are used to changing things round. They turned the Leg of Mutton and Cauliflower from a drinking den into a lovely restaurant and meeting place for Ashtead, and then the Wise Old Owl in Kingfold from a nightclub back into a pub/restaurant for the local community. Then came the Jolly Farmers project at Buckland...
"We were looking at the licensing changes and thought food was the right road to take," says Jon. "We have always worked with local suppliers, trying to help independent shops, but we also dreamed of owning a farm and having a farm shop.
"We knew how to operate pubs and restaurants, however, so we decided to bring the farm shop inside the pub. Now it is a complete food emporium."
The farm shop cum delicatessen occupies what was once one of the bars in the pub, and visitors can wander from bar to shop to restaurant to garden in this unique integrated business. They can even buy the raw materials for cooking at home and eat meals made with the same ingredients in the restaurant.
And the shop element benefits from the same opening hours as the pub, closing at 11pm, so if you run out of olive oil or need some fresh lettuce for supper at 8pm, you can just nip down and buy it - and maybe stay for a glass of wine as well. Most of the produce in the shop is sourced locally too.
"We have an intense desire to purchase from and support local suppliers," says Jon. "There are some superb farms and it is great to be able to showcase their products. We get great local meat through the Surrey Hills butcher at Oxshott and Gregs at Ashtead.
"People should question where food comes from and why it is so cheap in the supermarkets. The problem is what they are not being told. We should all ask questions about where food is grown and where it is shipped on for packaging before arriving here.
"We should celebrate local food - not how cheap we can find something. I get a real feel-good factor because our jams and chutneys are made so close to the pub. I like to focus on local and seasonal, creating the link between farm and plate.
"But ultimately the world of local food is just great fun."
- The Jolly Farmers Food Emporium is located on the A25 at Buckland, just outside Reigate. Tel: 01737 221355