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Finzean Farm Shop is a breath of fresh air when it comes to local produce

From seasonal wild venison and game to artisan cheeses, eggs and freshly baked bread, Finzean Farm Shop and Cafe champions local food.

Finzean Farm Shop and cafe champions local food producers. Image: Kami Thom
Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson
Finzean Farm Shop and cafe champions local food producers. Image: Kami Thom Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

When TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp appeared on screen sporting the vibrant Fair Isle cardigan she bought during a visit to Finzean Farm Shop, it was a proud moment for Catriona Farquharson.

“Kirstie visited the farm shop with her friends, she was so lovely, just how she is on the telly, very friendly and bubbly,” says Catriona, a partner in the family run farm shop located in the resplendent rural community of Finzean, near Banchory.

From the spectacular views and tranquil treks through the beautiful estate to the farm shop brimming with local suppliers and seasonal dishes served up in the cafe, it’s no surprise Kirstie Allsopp wanted a lasting memento of her visit to this countryside haven.

The views at Finzean Farm Shop are stunning. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Established in 2006 to sell produce from local farms, small enterprises and individual producers, Finzean Farm Shop has organically grown into a burgeoning business and cafe with other famous fans including the best selling chef, broadcaster and author Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

“The things people like about the farm shop is its rural location and the amazing views,” says Catriona.

“People also enjoy the buzzy atmosphere and our staff are so friendly.”

Keen to find out the secret to its success, Society caught up with Catriona to find out what makes Finzean Farm Shop such a rural gem.

The Finzean Farm Shop Cafe is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or a cake and cuppa. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Firstly, can you tell us the history behind Finzean Estate?

Finzean Estate is my husband Donald’s family home so after a spell of living out in Japan we moved here to help run it with Donald’s brother and sister in 2002. Living in Japan was an amazing experience but we wanted our children – Rory, Archie and Izzy – to grow up on the Finzean Estate and go to the local schools.

To go with story by Rosemary Lowne. Society food feature Picture shows; Catriona Farquharson. Finzean Farm Shop. Supplied by Catriona Farquharson Date; Unknown

How did the Finzean Farm Shop come about?

The building the farm shop is in now was initially used to store tractors but we knew we had to do something else with the building. It’s in such a lovely spot so we initially thought about opening an art gallery but then we came up with the idea of selling estate produce like game. Since then the farm shop has grown slowly and organically.

The Farm Shop prides itself on selling the freshest local produce. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

What produce do you sell in the farm shop?

We sell our own venison which is shot and butchered on the estate. It’s very popular, I know there’s a big government push to make people more aware of eating venison because it’s healthy, sustainable and there’s the need to cull deer. A lot of people think it’s a high end expensive meat but it’s not. Venison is also healthy because it’s so lean and its good on the food miles. We also make lots of fresh meals on site which people can take home. We also bake our own scones, tray bakes, cakes and bread – everything is baked on the premises. We also hand curl our butter which I don’t think anyone else does. It’s a bit labour intensive but the team have got it down to an art.

The homemade chutney is popular with customers. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Can you tell us some of the local producers you stock?

We have sausages and bacon from Ingram’s Aberdeenshire, a lovely family farm based in Ellon and run by a chap called Sandy and his son. We also stock Aberdeenshire Highland Beef,  a business run by Grace Noble located just outside Banchory. We also have meat from the butchers HM Sheridan. As well as meat we also sell local honey, Rora Dairy yoghurts (based in Peterhead), locally grown oats and eggs from Katy’s Egg in Banchory. We also have products from Kincardine Kitchen (Aberdeenshire). Also there’s a lovely Bed and Breakfast in Aboyne called Lys-Na-Greyne and they make preserves so we sell their marmalades, jams and chutneys. We also have a lot of local cheeses too including from the Cambus O’May Cheese Co and we also sell local beer. We get a lot of local deliveries constantly through the door.

Finzean Farm Shop is heaven for food and drink fans. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

What else do you sell in the shop?

We have various gifts and artwork from local artists. We also stock Organica J aromatherapy oils, soaps and organic skincare which are made by a woman called Jacqui Christie from Finzean. We also sell Maryfield Flowers.

Beautiful gifts made by local creatives are also available at the farm shop. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

You also have a farm shop cafe too?

Yes we’re very popular with cyclists who come in for their breakfast. For breakfast we have things like yoghurt and homemade granola which we also sell in the shop. Also popular are the pancakes which we serve with bacon and maple syrup etc. We also have Taste of the Isles dish which includes black pudding on a muffin and bacon, eggs and sausage. On the lunch menu we have our venison burgers which are popular as well as our homemade beef burgers. The buns are homemade and we use seasonal salads. We also have homemade quiche and vegan dishes on the menu. Our menu is seasonal so for example in the winter we’ll have things like stovies, casseroles and fish pie on the menu but in the summer it does vary quite a lot.  We also do afternoon tea and takeaway tea boxes and hampers. People can also just pop in for teas and coffees.

Sweet toothed customers will be satisfied with the array of baked goodies. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

We’ve heard that you make the most delicious ice-cream too?

Yes we make our own ice-cream using seasonal produce like strawberries and raspberries. We have one called Oaty Crunch ice-cream which we make by hand and it’s so popular.

Finzean Farm Shop uses seasonal fruit to make its own ice-cream. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

You also have a Post Office on site too?

Yes we have a pop-up Post Office twice a week. We opened it when the local Post Office closed. The community are so supportive here, we’re very lucky. There’s a great atmopshere on the estate as we run a working farm so you’ll see the tractors in the field, the cattle grazing in the field and lots of wildlife and deer and amazing birds. We’ve actually just printed a new bird watching guide for all the birds you can spot on the estate.

Stock up on your locally made cheese at Finzean Farm Shop. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

For more information on Finzean Farm Shop go to the website

or go to their Instagram page @finzeanfarmshop