However, the Peake family who owns the hotel has also been growing and marketing their apples, soft fruit and other fresh produce to customers for over 80 years from their neighboring Boxford Farms in Suffolk. At various times during this period – which included WW2 - they have had to be resilient and resourceful, and have managed to overcome significant challenges in the fruit and farming industry by diversifying into fruit juice processing – inventing Copella apple juice in the early 70s - and creating golf courses nearly 50 years ago.
Having to close the resort and lay off large numbers of loyal staff has been an extremely difficult, emotional and unprecedented challenge. But now that the supermarkets are finding it difficult to cope with demand, and there is a desperate need for alternative supplies of fresh foods, groceries and household items, the team at the Hotel has risen to this challenge and adapted its existing Pippin Shop
to create a food retail hub for local residents to come and buy essential supplies a short distance from their homes.
Award-winning Executive Head Chef James Barber and his team, who normally provide mouthwatering dishes for Stoke by Nayland Hotel’s AA 2 Rosette Lakes Restaurant, have also been busy creating a range of excellent frozen ready meals, adding their own special flair to established favourites. As well as savoury dishes customers can treat themselves to seasonal Boxford Farm fruit crumbles and a Pippin Afternoon Tea for 2 in a takeaway box to help lift their spirits during these very trying times.
Susanna Rendall, MD of Stoke by Nayland Hotel said; “Our Pippin Food Store has been launched at very short notice to meet an urgent local demand. As a family we have been living and farming in this community since the late 1930s and we feel that if we have the staff and practical resources, it is a service that we would really like to offer to our local community - and particularly to our elderly and vulnerable local residents. No one knows how many weeks or months this crisis will last, but we aim to provide this local service for as long as it is needed.”
Pippin Food Store is open 7 days a week, from 7am to 7pm and is being run by the hotel staff. The Chef is ordering fresh vegetables, dairy produce, meat and fish from the hotel’s regular wholesalers, as well as household items, and supplies are arriving every couple of days, so there is plenty of stock.
In addition the shop is selling the family farm’s own-grown delicious fresh asparagus, rhubarb and apples – and soon will be stocking their fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries as they come into season. There are also Copella and Cawston Press Fruit Juices in plentiful supply.
Strict government-led hygiene rules apply both inside the shop and for deliveries, and more details of these are listed on the hotel website.
Pippin Store is offering a grocery delivery service to residents within a 5 mile radius of the hotel on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and there is no delivery charge for those who are over 70 or vulnerable and self-isolated within that area.
Boxford Suffolk Farms will be recruiting fruit pickers from mid May so if anyone is interested in applying for a job there please call Thomas on 07387 022285 or email him at email@example.com
and visit the website at www.boxfordfarms.com