Sustainable farm chooses Ipswich for first ever store
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
Family farm Virginia Nurseries has opened its first-ever store in Ipswich.
The sustainable farm's shop has been welcoming visitors to Foxhall Road since July 20 after it took over the unit from a physiotherapist.
The location was also Foxhall Hair designs before it became Warren Heath Physiotherapy a number of years ago.
Virginia Nurseries started out supplying big supermarkets with lettuce from Newbourne when it was founded in 1981 by Larry and Jen Risdale,
It has stayed a family-run business with the pair's son Ru Risdale now at the helm.
They do not have organic certifciation, Mr Risdale says, due to the small size of their farm.
But he says they do not use any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.
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Instead controlling pests, weeds, and disease is through regular crop rotation, mildew, and growing through a mulch.
Virginia Nurseries release British bumblebees into their greenhouses to aid pollination and ladybirds to keep down the number of greenflies.
The 30-year-old has moved their focus from supermarkets to supplying wholesale to shops, pubs, restaurants, and other local businesses.
He said that local people appreciate good quality.
"I am just going small and local and the community has been supporting us and we've been quite successful," he said.
"The thing for us is trust, knowing when you know your order is coming and don't have to send a load of stuff going out a week before its used."
Mr Risdale has now decided to open his first store in Foxhall Road, East Ipswich, creating two new jobs.
He thought, when the let came up on the building, that: "We just thought we can do something there.
"We've always been selling to customers and thought this would make a nice compliment going direct to the public and see how it goes."
Virginia Nurseries still delivers within a twenty-mile radius of Woodbridge, and to Felixstowe, Ipswich and Framlingham.
To find out more more phone 01473 736145, email email@example.com or pop down to 698 Foxhall Road, Ipswich.