WITH so much direct-to-consumer selling happening online, it’s ironic some businesses can have no facetime with even their most loyal customers.   

But for the county's food businesses, the Cheshire Show is the perfect chance for producers to get their ethos across to clients face to face.

Groobarbs Wild Farm, which includes Groobox veg delivery service, and field-to-fork restaurant Groobarbs Field Kitchen, was started by husband-and-wife team David and Rebecca Fryer in 2013, on just half-an-acre of land in High Legh.  

Back then, they packed veg boxes on their kitchen table, and pounded the regional farmers market circuit every weekend for more than seven years to get their business off the ground. 

Northwich Guardian: Rachel Fryer showing-off some of her celebrated seasonal produce at the Royal Cheshire County Show Rachel Fryer showing-off some of her celebrated seasonal produce at the Royal Cheshire County Show (Image: Newsquest)

The pandemic saw their orders increase seven-fold in a single month, and a huge expansion followed, which included buying 60 acres of land near Great Budworth, where they now produce the bulk of their produce

Then in August 2022, they opened ‘field-to-fork’ restaurant, Groobarbs Field Kitchen, led by celebrated chef Mark Price, which puts ‘tastebud-tingling’ seasonal fruit and veg at centre stage. 

Rachel Fryer explained how the Royal Cheshire County Show gives customers a change to get up close and personal with their top-quality produce. 

She said: “The show has just been brilliant. We’ve meet loads of people, including lots of existing customers who’re coming over to talk about their veg boxes, and we’ve picked-up loads of new ones from all over Cheshire and beyond.  

“The best thing is it allows people to see the veg themselves.

“We talk a lot about how fresh it is, and the quality, but there’s nothing like seeing it with your own eyes.

“That’s invaluable for us, because that really what we’re all about.

“Our broad beans are just coming into season, and the lovely Cheshire new potatoes. They’re in all the boxes at the moment, and the kale is on its way, and we’ve got some lovely tomatoes.

“Our wonderful chef, Mark Price, even gave a cookery demo in the Food Theatre. He did a gorgeous potato salad with the new Cheshires and spring onions, and a dish with our fantastic young carrots.

“They’re great for busy people. They’re so tender, they only take about three minutes to cook.”

For things they don't produce themselves, like drinks, Groobarbs Field Kitchen buys as local as possible, with the majority coming from Cheshire.

Not a problem for beer and cider, you would think, but what about the wine?

Rachel added: "We’ve got a food and wine pairing event coming up this Friday with friends from Halfpenny Green Wine Estate in Staffordshire.

"It’s completely sold out, but there’ll be others as they’ve been really popular. The plan is to do one every season.

“The Staffordshire wines are amazing. People are shocked that you can produce such good wine so locally.

“We sell three or four of their whites, one sparkling, and one red.

“Our whole drinks menu is local, which is one of our stipulations. As much of it as possible comes from Cheshire.”