Belfast Telegraph

Prize-winning meat producers unveil expansion plans for farm shop and cafe

By Joanne Sweeney

First came Broughgammon's rose veal and cabrito goat meat boxes and soon there will be Broughgammon, the cafe brand.

The ambitious Ballycastle farm business has plans to create a new cafe and farm shop that will serve up its prize-winning meats.

It has lodged a planning application with Causeway Coast and Glens Council to adapt an existing barn into a farm shop/cafe.

Should permission be granted, the family-run Co Antrim farm and food producer hopes to be open for business in 2017.

Broughgammon prides itself on 'forward thinking farming'.

It has fast established itself as an artisan food supplier with its online meat box orders of goat, rose veal and speciality sausages.

Broughgammon is headed up by Charlie Cole, brother Sandy, and Charlie's wife, marketing manager Becky Gray.

The family will run the new cafe themselves, overseen by Becky, who previously managed the Dubarry clotheswear store in Dublin.

They also hope to employ a few new staff to help them serve the food which will be made on-site by them.

The farm's current farm shop is attached to Broughgammon's butchery, but is now proving to be too small.

"The new shop will be a conversion of our round top barn, which is just the right size for a cosy cafe and farm shop as well as a space for pop-up suppers and workshops," Becky said.

"We will serve up a menu including our artisan meat products as well as using other local products.

"The mood will be cosy and casual.

"We want it to reflect the farm, so we will keep it as rustic as possible with some fun additions to add character too.

"We feel like the conversion will really give back to the farm financially, as we can use it for a multitude of events and workshops, and also as a daily cafe and hub for the community," Becky explained.

She added: "We have really seen growth with our online meat box sales, and our artisan butchery is going from strength-to-strength.

"And we are now running butchery, game and cookery classes on the farm which is great fun and fantastic to get more customers onto the farm.

"We are reaching a wider customer base now with our online meat boxes which we deliver all over Ireland and the UK."

The Coles produce 300 goats a year and have 25 free range bull calves. They also keep pigs, chickens and geese for their own use and are now encouraging seaweed foraging.

In 2006, they built the farmhouse with solar thermal heating, an air-source heat pump and a wood pellet boiler and a wood stove. Wastewater is recycled through a reed bed system.

And they are currently gearing up for the Balmoral Show, and serving up a few new dishes to the thousands set to descend on the annual agriculture event at the former Maze prison site.

Belfast Telegraph