Former top cricketer chosen to open Melton farm’s shop and deli expansion

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A family-run farm near Melton is to open its first shop in a £70,000 plus investment.

March House Farm, of Top End, Great Dalby, which has been farmed by four generations of the Belcher family, is officially opening the farm shop on November 25.

It will be declared open by Ashes hero, former England bowler and ex-Leicestershire County Cricket Club captain, Matthew Hoggard at 11am.

Afterwards, visitors will have the chance to view the farm’s pigs, piglets, cows and calves.

The owners are already looking to further expand the operations with the opening of a cafe in the spring.

Dan Belcher said: “We’re particularly excited to be opening our new farm shop, butchery and deli which builds upon the butchery business we started in 1999.

“We’ll be extending by opening a café next spring.”

Currently there are five staff working in the butchery and this will increase to about 10 full and part time employees with the opening of the farm shop followed by the cafe.

Mr Belcher added: “While we’ve sold meat at the farm gate for a few years, we’ve always wanted to develop our farm shop offering further.

“We’ll have our freshly barbecued produce for customers to taste on the opening day.”

March House Farm produces beef, lamb and pork from its farms in Great Dalby and Little Dalby.

He said: “We will be showcasing our own and other local products and hoping to create a real ‘destination’ for families to come to the farm and do their weekly shop.

“By cutting out the middle man, we can offer prices comparable to those at the supermarket.

“Our ridge and furrow pasture is rich in natural grasses and herbs and this is reflected in the excellent quality of meat.”

He added: “We cut and prepare all the meat on the premises, so if customers have any special requirements for a dinner party such as a crown roast or a guard of honour, then they can order what they want especially from us.”