Local life - Castle Farm Shop, Cholmondeley

Castle Farm Shop; Susan Clapton (owner/manager), Kay Mitchell, Richard Spiridion and Liz Hockenhull

Castle Farm Shop; Susan Clapton (owner/manager), Kay Mitchell, Richard Spiridion and Liz Hockenhull (deli, outreach post office, convenience, cards and gifts and tearoom) - Credit: Archant

Putting the spotlight on retailers whose business is an important part of the community

When Castle Farm Shop, Cholmondeley, was threatened with closure Susan Clapton stepped in to save the day.

It is now 18 months since Susan took over the shop following the death of Lady Cholmondeley and she has had to work hard to create a business that serves both the community and the thousands who visit glorious Cholmondeley Castle, near Malpas, each year.

‘It’s been really hard work from the word go,’ says Susan, who has introduced a new tea room as well as exciting new ranges.

‘Creating the new tea room under the full force of the government’s new health and safety legislation has been a challenge but I think we’ve made it very ‘Cholmondeley’ in design.’

‘Local’ is the key word here as the range of existing goods, including products chosen by Lady Cholmondeley herself, have been enhanced by locally brewed ales, gins and lots of cheeses as well as Maynard’s farm products.

‘There’s Simon Nuttall’s honey too. He lives in Peckforton, so that’s another local producer for us,’ explains Susan.

‘We have some really nice people who work really hard to get their products out. It is really a pleasure to be in Cheshire.’

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Susan, who is originally from Berkshire, ran the bakery in Cuddington for 10 years before taking over at Castle Farm Shop.

‘We’ve had lots of tastings and the response from everyone has been very positive.’ she says.

For the locals, there’s still a post office but this has been moved to the front of the shop, rather than the back and Susan has also added a range of greetings cards.

‘We were trying to find out how long the shop has been here and one lady said a 100 years... another said it could be even older but it’s lovely to have a shop that’s been here so long. Lady Cholmondeley loved this farm shop and when I look at the little blue crest on her products I feel she’s very much still here.’