Wadswick Country Store started in the late 1980s. Based on an arable farm our first product line was homegrown potatoes, planted and harvested by all members of the family. At the time, the farm, an agricultural contracting business and a reasonably large flock of sheep were the main focus for Carolyn and Tim Barton. Potatoes were sold by way of a wired up old car horn. If no one was available to take the money then an honesty box prevailed.
Customers began to ask for the odd bag of oats for their horses and mixed corn for their chickens and before long a fledgling feed business emerged selling homegrown crops. Carolyn soon realised that staying in the shop was warmer than lambing sheep throughout the winter so when a small equestrian shop closed down locally she grabbed the opportunity to buy its stock and expand the offering at Wadswick.
The move into the Equestrian industry was a natural step for them to take; horses had always been a huge part of Tim and Carolyn’s lives. Carolyn had been more or less brought up trundling around the country in the back of a horse lorry with her brothers and sisters showing horses. Her father, Gordon Giddings, built a large and successful stud with some renowned sires including Master Spiritus, who produced many successful event horses. Tim’s father, Roger, was a keen amateur jockey and racehorse breeder when he wasn’t farming and Tim rode the occasional point to point, not bad for someone who is nearly 6’3”!
Ever since, the business has grown steadily moving from one barn to the next biggest available when new space was needed until finally, Tim constructed a purpose built building in 2000. Not to rest on his laurels, Tim always has a plan in mind and is now staking out the next extension and development. Aside from the shop Tim has a passion for “green” farming and the farm now produces Miscanthus (a biofuel) to make horse bedding and energy and he has recently completed a solar park on the farm.
Carolyn remains in control of the shop and is rarely far from the shop floor, Tim is spending more and more time there now he has created the ultimate boy’s toy shop with the new Gunroom which opened in 2015. They seem happy to be joined by us (their children Jo and Alex) over the last few years and together we enjoy some healthy debates about how best to serve our customers in the future. Most recent projects include the opening of a new shooting simulator constructed in 2017 and a new shop extension to enhance the shop entrance and exterior of the building. Our latest phase of development will see a new larger cafe coming in 2019. Please do come and visit us in store if you can to get an essence of what we really are.
We will look forward to welcoming you!
Jo Boyd and Alex Barton