A FAMILY pig farm has diversified its business by opening a new farm shop.

Tancred Farm Shop, based just off the B6265 near Whixley, has opened after a large investment in building the shop and café over the summer.

Dean Hullah, who now owns the farm with his parents, Frank and Jen, who took it on in 1982, has diversified the business after starting to produce meat for his own family.

“It has grown from an interest in what my children were eating,” he said. “We started butchering a few of our own pigs for my family and parents and had somebody make a few sausages for us.”

Dean started working with a retired butcher and found there was also demand among their friends, who tried the sausages at barbecues and wanted to order some for themselves.

He then started selling to local pubs, and attends local farmers markets. He started the planning process for the new shop and café at the beginning of the year.

The shop sells the farm’s own sausages, cured bacon, gammon and ham, and beef from its grass-fed pedigree Lincoln Red cows as well as vegetables from the farm and wares from other local producers who Dean has met at farmers markets, including Bracken Hill Fine Foods and Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil.

Dean said the diversification helped the business, which still also provides pigs to other producers, be profitable during difficult times for pig farmers.

“Pig farmers are probably losing £10 to £15 per pig. The price of wheat is now well over £200 a tonne. A few years ago it was £100 per tonne. On the pigs I butcher, I will make the margin the butcher or supermarket would make.”

The business is a family affair, said Dean, with his father, now 75, still working on the farm, and with wife Angela, and two daughters Mary and Catherine helping in the shop, while son Lewis also helps on the farm.

The new shop was built by Croft Builders with oak beams from Yorkshire Oak Frames, another local business which evolved out of a farm diversification.