Snoutwood Trotters is located on Laburnum Farm, Great Sankey in Warrington where they rear & raise free range Gloucestershire old spot pedigree pigs and also have an onsite farm shop.
We got in touch with Rebecca Scott, Company Director of this local company, who she runs with partner Liam, to hear more about the business and the recent agricultural building they had from us. Rebecca kindly answered the following questions:
Please could you tell us more about Snoutwood Trotters?
“The family has no farming background – the farm has been built up from scrub land, overgrown brambles and encroaching woodland. We got our first 2 pigs around 10 years ago now for Liam’s 21st birthday. We opened the farm shop back in 2015 and literally just started with a small pop up gazebo at the front of the farm with a domestic fridge! After trialling the pork ourselves after having our first two pigs, we were amazed at the quality and taste of the meat. We wanted to encourage other people to try it too and started by just selling this amongst family and friends in the early stages who agreed that the pork was delicious. We wanted to encourage people to shop locally and were excited by the prospect of people trying what we could produce locally. We built our very own on-site butchery a couple of years ago. This has enabled us to have much more control of our products and enabled us to expand our product range. We now make all our own products as opposed to outsourcing the butchery work. This now means our product range is much more extensive and we have a lot more control over the presentation and recipes for our products. We had no training whatsoever and pretty much learned through YouTube. Liam has always been really attentive to detail and spent many an evening with his phone propped up on the butchers’ block watching tutorials. It has been fun learning together and we are still continually teaching ourselves better ways of doing things to improve our methods.
Catering also became a large part of the business with us now offering BBQ’s and hog roasts with our produce. We wanted to get involved with local events and encourage people to try our food as a way of extending our customer base. Covid was a huge blow as our entire events season was wiped out pretty much overnight. We have some fantastic events that we attend every year that are really good for us and with us only having the shop every fortnight, we were concerned that this was going to impact us going forward. We knew we had to diversify and adapt, so we decided to take the jump to open the shop weekly. However, with restrictions in place we knew we could not open the shop to the general public in the same way. Therefore, we designed a temporary website to make our pork more accessible to a greater number of people and introduced ready made packs/hampers of different sizes. We could not produce enough of them in the first few weeks! We introduced a drive thru system on the farm for people to collect them weekly and it was a great way of people being able to access good food in an extremely safe manner with the danger and risks that the supermarkets presented. We also delivered locally to those who were shielding and self-isolating which has proved so critical to some people in the area. We plan on continuing with a regular weekly shop opening now and scaling back our catering operations.
For the future, I think it is a case of keep doing what we are doing and just adapt as and when we need to. We would love to expand even further but we need to make sure the stock and the farm are set up to do so before we make decisions to upscale. The health and welfare of our pig herd is always going to be our number one priority, so I think we will look to developing the farming aspect of things whilst we continue to do what we are doing. We are excited for new opportunities that may present themselves on the journey and in the meantime we are just delighted to be able to continue with a business that we love especially when it means we can do it together as a couple!
Without the support of our local community, Snoutwood simply would not be the same. We have developed close friendships with a lot of our customers, and strong working relationships with several groups and businesses within our community. Our local community customer base is so supportive of Snoutwood and for us both as a couple, which strengthens our desire to push Snoutwood further and continue with our absolute passion. We have loved educating the local community about the farm to fork process and the importance of shopping locally and supporting local business. We have even inspired other youngsters to get outdoors and give something that they never thought would be possible a real go!
We took a huge sacrifice in developing Snoutwood over the years, especially at a time when many farmers are struggling and most rare breed pig herds have folded. We used most of Liam’s full time wages for several years to be able to improve our setup gradually and continue with what we inevitably want to do for the rest of our lives.”
What is your business aim/vision?
“Shop local/support local. Buy less, but better quality.”
What was the purpose of your new building?
“The one thing we have lacked on the smallholding for some time now is storage, so the main purpose of the building is for exactly that. Storing implements, machinery, tractors/fork lift, hay/straw and generally an excuse to have a big tidy up on the farm. Plus, it’s pretty nice to look at too! We have incorporated a Barn Owl Box inside too with a camera set up which is exciting.”
Why did you choose Graham Heath?
“We have heard Graham Heath mentioned a few times when asking people about their buildings and you came highly recommended. Then from the quotes yours were by far the most professional and we instantly felt you knew your business.”
Are there any features of your building that you are particularly pleased with?
“I think the whole building has exceeded our expectations on every aspect. The castle boarding looks fantastic and really happy with the galvanised steels throughout which should future proof the building for the long term.”
The building we designed, manufactured and supplied was 100′ x 50′ x 14′ in size, with castle boarding and galvanised steel as Rebecca mentioned. The roof was natural grey fibre cement with 20 roof lights. Sister company Concrete Panel Systems manufactured and supplied 90mm thick concrete panels to a height of 2m.
How has Graham Heath made a difference?
“The contact in general has been superb, quick and honest. You have been fantastic from start to finish. Everything has been really thorough and nothing too much trouble. The team (James & Michael) that actually installed the barn itself were absolutely fantastic, and didn’t stop from the moment they arrived until they finished the job. We couldn’t believe how quickly they managed to get the building up.”
Any other comments?
“It’s modernised our small farm and given us a focal point on our little set up to push forward with the future progression of our business”
We’re delighted with the wonderful feedback from Snoutwood Trotters and loved to hear all about this fantastic business. It has innovatively adapted to unexpected challenges such as Covid and you really get a sense of the passion that Rebecca and Liam have for the business and the importance of supporting local businesses. With our company being based in Cheshire too, we look forward to visiting very soon!