The Background & History of Our Farm Shop
Great Grandad, Fred Bradford arrives at Heath Farm following the First World War.
Grandparents, Charlie and Grace Bradford gave birth to Colin Bradford (Dad), in the farmhouse at Heath Farm.
Colin and his mother, Grace, take over the running of Heath Farm, following the passing of Colin’s Dad Charlie.
Colin becomes the Chairman of the Sawston Young Farmers.
Due to a foot and mouth crisis, the Young Farmers decide not to meet on each other’s farms; instead they decide to meet at a pub, the same pub that Lesley frequented!
Colin and Lesley marry. Immediately upon returning from honeymoon, Lesley (a city girl from Dublin) finds herself driving tractors and planting potatoes.
The potato crop is accompanied by a huge amount of wild mushrooms. Colin and Lesley don’t know why, but they can’t walk through the field without treading on them. Boxes and boxes of mushrooms are given away to friends until no one can eat any more. It is decided that potatoes and mushrooms will be sold at an honesty box at the gate.
Charles was born in May and takings from the honesty box enable a few laying hens to be purchased. A very small shop is opened in the old calving room.
Meat from the farm herd is first sold from the freezer in the shop, a precursor to the now popular butchery.
Marcus was born and Colin and Lesley start selling their trademark sausages. This recipe was adapted from Colin’s Uncle George’s recipe.
50p would buy you one of our first scotch eggs, their popularity has gone from strength to strength and we still use the exact same recipe to this day.
1980’s and 1990’s
Bradford’s Farm Shop builds up a loyal customer following under the stewardship of Colin, Lesley and Colin’s sister Jean.
Charles and Marcus return to the farm. Charles from working in London and Marcus from university in Edinburgh. Their mission: to help Colin and Lesley retire.
The first of many Great Taste Awards is won (this time for the Kelly Bronze Turkey and Cranberry Sausages) and ‘Bradford’s Farm Shop’ is renamed ‘Gog Magog Hills’. Colin and Lesley’s early retirement sees them working harder than ever before!
Charles starts work repairing and renovating the Cart Shed to create additional retail space.
The Cart Shed opens as a cheese shop and a café. Miles Nicholas joins as Head Butcher bringing with him a loyal customer following as well as an excellent recipe for home cooked hams.
Gog Magog Hills is featured in the BBC1 MasterChef Finals.
The café and cheese can no longer be contained under one roof. The old chicken shed is stripped down and converted in to a purpose built café. Gog Magog Hills now consists of a Shop and Butchery, a Deli and a Café.
An astounding 5 Great Taste Awards were won for Gog Made produce and Gog Magog Hills was named runner up in the Butchers Shop of the Year awards and runner up in the 2012 Observer Best Independent Food Retailer competition.
A new kitchen (specialising in soups, sausage rolls and baked delights) was built to supply the ever-expanding Café. Another Great Taste Award was won and Gog Magog Hills was named runner up in 2013 Observer Best Independent Food Retailer competition for the second year running.
Gog Magog Hills was once again named runner up in 2014 Observer Best Independent Food Retailer and won England’s Best Burger! The Shack (a wonderful outdoor area that serves as an additional refreshment area during the day) opened and appeared in BB2s Great British Menu.
Gog Magog Hills was named runner up in 2015 Observer Best Independent Food Retailer for the fourth year in a row and three further Great Taste Awards were won. Marcus’ son, Harry Bradford was born in November.