This Saturday, Happerley England opens its doors for the first time boasting a brand new butchers, fishmongers, deli, farm shop, bakery, cheese counter, off license, three take-aways, a restaurant and a large bar, and all in Oxfordshire.
Run by UK farmers, Happerley – England’s very first national centre of food and drink provenance is opening up in the former BHS store in Banbury, close to where the M&S and many other retailers have recently shut down.
“Using our QR technology you will be able to see the journey of the beer at the bar, the beef at the butchers and the bread at the bakery”
Creating around 60 full and part time jobs, it hopes to drive a radical change in how food and drink is retailed and served.
Supported by BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, England’s very first national centre of food and drink provenance in an interactive mixed retail, street food and entertainment environment, will be right here in Oxfordshire.
“Happerley is the first of its kind in the UK, bringing an exciting, engaging and experiential venue to the heart of England,” Happerley’s Tom Porter explains.
“Using our QR technology you will be able to see the journey of the beer at the bar, the beef at the butchers and the bread at the bakery. It really is unique.”
Consumers using the QR technology on smartphones can then follow and understand the journey of the food they buy and trace the ingredients right back to the beginning of the supply chain, allowing the producers to tell their story too.
“The crossroads of England was the perfect location to create a centralised hub for some of England’s best produce”
Happerley founder, Matthew Rymer, adds: “This is about delivering transparency and truth for the benefit of all. It’s about telling the story of field to fork, creating community space, a platform for genuine interaction and a sustainable business model for all.”
Originally due to open in May, the pandemic postponed the opening until this Saturday, when Adam Henson will be on hand at the new Banbury site to commemorate the event.
So why Banbury? “The crossroads of England was the perfect location to create a centralised hub for some of England’s best produce, with the story of its journey to match,” Happerley’s Tom Porter says.
The driver of the project was Cherwell District Council who wanted to do something different with the closed BHS store and regenerate the high street to put Banbury back on the map.
Happerley England at Lock29 is the first phase of the £70million regeneration of Banbury, with future developments already in construction.
The project’s second phase will include a new car park, cinema, restaurants and hotel all to spill out onto the canal and revitalise the night time economy.
Happerley founder, Matthew Rymer, adds: “We hope to blaze a new future for retail by re-engaging town centres with their surrounding countryside, and delivering truth instead of spin.”
“This is a project to attract visitors from across the nation, and create a real buzz”
Happerley was founded by farmers and has already won the support of hundreds of producers around the UK.
Plans for a Happerley Scotland and Happerley Wales are already in the pipeline.
Happerley also aims to drive real change through its Feed Me Truth campaign with Co-op Childcare and its new online marketplace ‘Shop Happerley’.
“We want to connect with all business who value honesty and have a story to tell to join our network of producers, wholesalers and retailers who are delivering transparency and benefitting from it,” Matthew adds.
“This is a project to attract visitors from across the nation, and create a real buzz. Plus, at Happerley we are trying to support our suppliers through this tough period so that they can emerge from it stronger and more connected.”
Happerley England opens in Lock29 in Castle Quay Shopping Centre in Banbury at 9am on Saturday 29th August with a televised tour with Adam Henson and some leading food and drink producers. It will be open from 9am-9pm daily (from 10am on Sundays)