It’s January 2021, the UK has just entered its third national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and restaurants up and down the country remain closed.
Despite being in the depths of homeschooling two young children and uncertain about when their Norwich restaurant would be able to open its doors again, an idea was burning in the minds of Farmyard’s Chef Patron Andrew Jones and business partner and wife Hannah Springham.
Where the magic started
With foodies across the UK longing for the taste and quality of restaurant food, Andrew and Hannah pivoted their business model and, alongside their team of creative chefs, they started a mission to deliver the spirit of their award-winning Norwich restaurant to the dining tables of their loyal customers.
The aim was simple: create refined dishes, packed full of the same high-quality ingredients used in the restaurant, that could be cooked from frozen at home for the ultimate convenience and luxury.
The execution proved more challenging.
After months of research and refinement, trials and tribulations, the Farmyard team devised a complete menu of starters, mains and desserts that could be perfectly stored in the freezer for up to six months and cooked with minimal effort.
The crowning glory of this menu was Farmyard’s indulgent Beef Wellington – a centrepiece so impressive (not to mention time-saving for customers) that it remains the top seller today.
Success worth celebrating
Two years on from the inception of Farmyard’s frozen revolution and many satisfied customers later, we’re reflecting on some of our highlights:
Free-range chefs: unsociable hours are just part of the gig for most chefs, but by setting up a second kitchen based in Norfolk’s Showground, we’ve been able to give our creative chefs greater work-life balance, enabling them to balance cooking around family life and their interests outside of work.
The best local suppliers: one of the core principles we committed to when expanding the brand was always to use handpicked ingredients from Norfolk’s best local producers. We don’t source locally for the sake of it; local only works for us if it’s top quality, so our suppliers are more like partners because they care about what they do as much as we do.
Still handcrafted: The whole Farmyard team bring an electric attitude to every lovingly-created dish. Unlike the gargantuan factories on that TV show with Greg Wallace, all our food is handmade by our creative chefs, who bring their electric attitude and culinary flair to every dish.
We’re reaching more of the UK: As well as shipping dishes directly to customers’ homes across the UK, you’ll also find Farmyard in the freezer of some incredible delis, farm shops and retail stores. While we started locally in Norfolk, you can now find Farmyard delights as far as Cambridge, Suffolk, Essex, Lincolnshire and Surrey.
We’re giving back: Serving up a better world has always been as important to the Farmyard team as serving up award-winning food. It’s what drives us to continue giving back to our community – from speaking at food innovation forums to help drive up food standards to feeding families for free at Christmas.
The future is pink
The latest development in the Farmyard story will see the brand go mobile thanks to our iconic new ice cream van. Look out for her this year as our refined food hits the road visiting local farmers markets and foodie events, as well as for north Norfolk beach crawls and sampling with customers at our favourite stockists.
“We want as many people as possible to join the frozen revolution, so we’ll be using our van to sell desserts for people to eat on the spot, as well as our best-sellers for people to take home and cook up!”
Let’s hear it for the foodies
We created Farmyard Frozen during the pandemic for the foodies – the ones who just couldn’t go without those restaurant flavours. Today, we’re continuing to make great dishes for the date-night foodies, the couldn’t-get-a-babysitter foodies, the celebration foodies and the worked-hard all-day foodies.
Whatever your reason for choosing Farmyard, thank you for being part of our journey and for letting us be part of yours – we want to keep bringing electric flavours and the ultimate convenience to your table for a very long time to come.
Look out for exciting new dishes landing on our menu soon!