MENTA support helps Nowton couple realise ambition to run a farm
A husband-and-wife team have realised their dream of running a small farm in the Suffolk countryside.
Apple Tree Farm, at Nowton, is a new business operated by Jacqui and Peter Howells.
Peter said that after a career in retail banking and Jacqui working in the civil service, ‘we both shared a passion to work closer to nature and follow our shared dream of running our own small holding’.
Apple Tree Farm now raises pure-bred Falabella miniature horses, Hampshire Down sheep, alpacas and Kelly Bronze turkeys.
The business couple successfully signed up for the MENTA business and support programme, which consisted of business planning, sales and marketing training.
Jacqui said: “The support was exactly what we both needed as it helped focus our minds on the business planning stage and then opened up some extra funding support through the grant from West Suffolk Council.”
MENTA’s business coach Pauline Prockter supported the couple with their application to expand their turkey house tunnel and they received £1,500 towards the construction costs.
“The support we received from the MENTA start-up team and extra assistance from a business coach has proven a true game changer, starting your own business is full of risk and we are so fortunate to have friends and family who really have helped the business over the past two years,” said Jacqui.
Peter said sales for the famed Kelly bronze turkey were up by 50 per cent on the same period last year and added: “Customers like that they can come to the farm, to collect their festive bird and are assured by the surroundings of the farm.”
The business couple are to be featured in a short new film that looks at how to start a new business venture and the support that is currently available. This film is one of several that MENTA have commissioned local videographer Greyhound Creative to produce.