For the past 40 years the Rennie family have been supplying people in the north-east area with its home-grown produce from Netherton Farm.
Morag and John Rennie took the decision to put in vending machines after the passing of family matriarch Ina Rennie, 89, earlier this year, described as the face of the farm shop.
Over 250-acres the Rennie’s grow cereal, tatties, and seasonal veg alongside sheep, beef cattle and free-range hens.
The self-service vending machines at Netherton Farm Shop, located between Fraserburgh and Peterhead, have now ushered them into a new digital era and ensures they can remain open seven days a week.
Matriarch of the Rennie family
Ms Rennie said: “The farm shop has evolved over time.
“It started with customers coming directly to the sorting shed as the vegetables were prepared for wholesale, but for the past 10 years it’s had a permanent space on the farm.
“Granny Rennie has been at the heart of the farm shop and the friendly face that greeted customers.
“But, when she passed, we needed a solution as there are a lot of jobs on the farm and, suddenly, not enough hands.
“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that technology can be harnessed to make life easier when things have to change.
“By utilising technology in the farm shop, we’re able to not only keep it going but ensure that Ina’s legacy lives on.”
The offering customers locally-grown produce via self-service vending machines is a well established trend. Other shops across the north of Scotland that have embraced the convenience it offers to both the farm workers and customers include Lower Thorneybank Farm Shop near Rothienorman, Rootfield Farm on the Black Isle, Connage Highland Diary in Ardersier and Forest Farm in Kinellar which laid claim to launching Scotland’s first milk vending machine.
Still selling home-grown tatties, seasonal vegetables, and free ranges eggs – which has been the farm shop’s trademark and core – the shop at Netherton will be open seven days a week thanks to the machines.
Feedback has been positive
From Sunday to Tuesday, customers will be able to use the self-service machines and from Wednesday to Saturday the farm shop will be staffed.
Ms Rennie, who is also co-founder of Rennie’s Eggs which can be found in more than 50 outlets across the north east, said: “It was a big decision to put in the self-service machines, but the feedback we’ve had so far has been positive and customers understand why we decided to do it.
“Regardless of whether they prefer the machines or want to be served by one of the family, our customers know that when they come to Netherton Farm Shop they’re getting a natural, nutritious and homegrown product that tastes great.”
Ms Rennie has shown her support for the North East Now campaign, which has made it easy for people to support local firms from a wide range of industries during the pandemic.
Ms Rennie said: “The North East Now website is a fantastic resource to support local communities to buy local, seasonal produce that has low food miles and directly benefits people in the area.”
For further information on Netherton Farm Shop visit www.facebook.com/Nethertonfarmshop
To find out more about North-East Now, visit www.northeastnow.scot