A FAMILY-run business is appealing for residents to shop locally after reopening following months of lockdown.

The White Farm Baby Barn, which is based in White Colne, has been a fixture of the village for 28 years.

Owned by Sara Hubbard, 50, from Colchester, who acquired the shop 12 years ago, the shop is a nursery retail store which provides everything a baby needs.

The shop is a family affair with Sara’s daughter Abbie, 26 working as the shop’s manager, daughter Rubie, 20, working as the shop’s social media and admin assistant, and husband John, 54, sorting the business’s accounts.

Like many businesses, the barn has suffered during the pandemic and has been forced to adapt in order to keep going during lockdowns.

Sara, Abbie and Rubie

Sara, Abbie and Rubie

The shop hosts Zoom consultations, phone appointments and a doorstep collection service, as well as the introduction of postal gift boxes.

The business has also been keeping in contact with customers on social media and has been working to support other small businesses from social media shout outs to selling products.

Read more:

The shop reopened as lockdown eased last month and has seen demand rise.

Sara said: “Demand has been sky high. We are open for appointment only and not only have we had several walk-ins already, but we are fully booked for weekends until the end of June.

“We are so pleased customers in our area are choosing to come to us and being supportive by booking appointments rather than shopping with the larger companies on the internet.

“We feel it is more important than ever to shop local, not even just when it comes to our store in the nursery industry.

The White Farm Baby Barn

The White Farm Baby Barn

“Shopping local helps support your local economy, give people in your community job opportunities and help your area grow and thrive.

“We are proud to be a part of a growing town with lots of small businesses popping up and we feel the pandemic has only reinforced this.

“When you support a local small business, you’re not lining the pockets of a chief executive who wouldn’t recognise you if they ran into you in the street.

“You’re supporting a family dream, allowing them to make positive changes in their lives, give their children new opportunities and build a life they love.”