Ready meal firm to open town’s first urban farm shop

W29263H13-LoveFood''Business Awards. Love Food Directors. Pictured are directors, L-R Marc Scrace, Jamie Coltman and Aaron Douglass. Southdownview Rd, Worthing.

W29263H13-LoveFood''Business Awards. Love Food Directors. Pictured are directors, L-R Marc Scrace, Jamie Coltman and Aaron Douglass. Southdownview Rd, Worthing.

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A HIGH-end ready meal company is to open the first urban farm shop in Worthing – just in time for the Christmas trading period.

Start-up company Love Food hopes to open the outlet at its base in Southdownview Road on December 1, selling its meals, locally-sourced products and Christmas trees.

The business has enjoyed strong success since launching in October last year, with its products attracting custom from wholesalers, retailers, and eateries.

Co-director Mark Scrace said the latest project had come about after months of researching farm shops across the county.

He said: “There is a farm shop in Rustington, which is the closest, but ours will be more about solely selling artisan food products.

“There is definitely a gap in the market for something like this.

“There are lots of people in the area who enjoy finer foods and I am sure people would like to support local businesses.”

The company has recently held talks with large retailers and a supermarket chain, but declined the opportunity to work with them, as it would have involved lowering the quality of the product.

Mr Scrace said: “We have spoken to some really large national companies, and we were planning to work with one, but they wanted us to reduce the quality of our products, to market them cheaper.

“We refused to do that, as we know people want to buy high quality food. That is what we are about.”

While the business was started in tough trading conditions, Mr Scrace said customers still wanted high quality food.

He said: “The horse meat scandal helped us, as people now want a bit more traceability.

“It is always going to be tough starting a business. It is difficult to find funding for growth, and we had to self fund our business.”