Working With Waitrose
Anthony Carroll, Oakwrights Sales Team Manager for the South West of England, has recently been involved in discussions with one of the UK’s most forward thinking grocery stores. Below he let’s us know a little about the culmination of those discussions, the history of Waitrose in Hampshire and the excitement generated by the simple thought that tens of thousands of people every year will be making their way through one of our unique oak frames each and every day.
During the summer this year, Oakwrights has been commissioned by Waitrose to design and construct the oak frame for a new 5000sqft Farmshop (close to the Longstock Park Nursery) within the grounds of their Leckford Estate. The Farmshop will include a café and an educational area that will sit comfortably beneath a beautifully vaulted Oak frame.
The Leckford estate, near Stockbridge, in Hampshire was purchased by John Spedan Lewis in 1928 as his private estate and was converted in 1929 into a limited company. It now forms an important part of Waitrose and the John Lewis group. As well as a visionary retailer, John Spedan Lewis was an accomplished naturalist with an impressive knowledge of botany, entomology and aquatic life. His personal dedication to environmental issues lives on at Leckford into the 21st century through the work of the John Spedan Lewis Trust for the Advancement of the Natural Sciences.
The Leckford Estate has a working farm producing arable crops including high quality bread-making wheat which is used to make a range of Leckford label flour. The farm also supplies milk, apples, pears, apple juice, cider, free range eggs and mushrooms as well as Leckford free range chickens to Waitrose branches all around the country.
Longstock Park Nursery, which is managed by Waitrose, lies within Hampshire's picturesque Test Valley. The nursery is set in and around a brick and flint walled garden, and is home to National Collections of Buddleja and Clematis viticella and the Gilchrist Collection of Penstemon.
Oakwrights will begin work on the Leckford Estate in mid-November and the Farmshop will open to the great Hampshire public later in the year. We know that the experience of shopping in an Oakwrights constructed Farmshop will give those considering an Oak frame building, yet another opportunity to get the chance to see our award winning innovation and craftsmanship.
Once the oak frame is in place, the remainder of the building processs will be carried out one of our partner building companies, Oakland Vale who have a great wealth of experience in bringing Oakwrights frames to life.
The good people at Waitrose tell us that people from all over the world come along to the Leckford Estate to share in John Spedan Lewis’s original vision of farming in harmony with the environment; from late 2013 we will also be in regular attendance at the new Farmshop to meet with clients interested in discovering more about Oakwrights beautiful houses.
NB – Images supplied by kind permission by Oakland Vale and Waitrose.