I've found a gem of a place near Beith in North Ayrshire. It seems I am a little late to this party as Auchengree Farm Shop already has a pretty loyal following for both their inviting cafe and for their farm shop and butchery.

The place still runs as a farm, with husband and wife team Trevor and Anne Beckett pushing the place forward after buying it four years ago.

Auchengree has been a farm shop for many years, Anne remembers the day the couple came to view the farm, they knew that a cafe would be a must to make the most of the lovely views over the Garnock valley. As the farm shop was being refreshed with new stock and the butchery was making a name for itself under the guidance of master butcher, Clive McDonald, it was down to Trevor and a local joiner to get to work putting up an extension to house the cafe.

Now the shop is packed with local and quality food and the butchery is pushing the boundaries with a tremendous range of familiar meats that you would expect to find, but there is also a huge range of exotic meats in the chill cabinets that are certainly keeping customers interested.

There are very few farm shops in Scotland, maybe a handful, that don't have some sort of eatery, and Anne knows that the customers are coming primarily for the cafe, which is a lovely bright building, with windows all along one side, and then they take advantage of what’s on offer in the shop to pick up food for dinner.

The cafe has seating for around 50 people, with a wood burning stove tucked up the back for cosy winter lunches. The view overlooks a kids play area too, and as there are no roads except the entrance to the farm, it's a very safe space for kids to run around. Lunches are the main draw, with the usual lite bites, main meals, breakfasts, homemade soups & weekend specials were chef Kenny caters to all dietary requirements including vegetarians and vegans etc and there is a tremendously tempting array of cakes and traybakes that are all baked on the premises, as well as a fantastic range of freshly baked bread. The cakes look amazing.

Having established itself as a popular cafe, Anne has introduced afternoon tea (book ahead) and once every fortnight they have a steak night in the evening were all steaks are cut and cooked to order by chefs Kenny & Graeme. On offer is steak, obviously, but not just beef - the array of exotic meats from the butchery often pop up. Fancy a kangaroo steak, or a Llama fillet, go along to the very popular steak night (you'll also need to book for those, they are really busy), and try something new. The cafe is licensed, so you are in for a hearty meal along with a variety of wine to choose from. Lately they have also been hosting private functions, birthday parties, communions, and retirement parties, all fully catered for.

Trevor pops in for a chat, he is enjoying the life of being a farmer but also having the option of being in the shop and butchers working too. "It's nice to not be tied to the farm all the time, if I've had enough, I can come inside and work in the shop and help with the butchery work. It works both ways, and with the good weather we've had, it was really good to get back outside with the cattle and sheep we have here on the farm." The lamb in the butchers comes from Trevor's flock of Texel cross Mules.

The butchery is quite something. The beef comes from John Scott Meats, and is being put to good use in the most popular thing in the farm shop, the steak pies. If steak isn't your thing, but you love a pie – who doesn't – there's an impressive range of pastry-covered delights. Chicken en croute, salmon en croute, beef wellington, scotch pies, sausage rolls, and they also make their own quiche all fresh in the shop every day. As well as the exotic meat range, including Wild Boar, Kangaroo and Buffalo, Clive is selling the more obscure cuts of meat, just ask him and he will do his best to organise it for you. The Ayrshire Rose Veal, which is better welfare veal, has been a hit with customers and is regularly served during the steak evenings. Of course, there is a great selection of burgers and sausages that the team have made using their exotic range as well as the usual pork and beef.

What started as a small enterprise has grown and Anne and Trevor now have three full time staff and eight part time staff, and Anne says: "There are times when we need every one of them. Our staff are like our family, we have fun but we also have to work hard during the busy times."

Anne shows me round the shop where she is planning a few changes to gain more space. She really enjoys the shop during the Christmas period, she loves the buzz and making up hampers (they are on offer all through the year), and she has introduced an extensive gifts section, and greeting card area.

The shop is packed with goodies, a tremendous selection of jams, chutneys and dressings take up one side of the shop. There is a small selection of fresh fruit and vegetables: "Is that Ayrshire tatties?" Was the first thing one customer said as he walked through the door. They were, and he happily picked himself a bag.

The cafe is the draw to the farm, but with a butchers of such high quality I can see the retail side of the business challenging the cafe in the popularity contest.

It's really the only farm shop in the area, North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire are not blessed with any other farm shops and any farm shop deserves support from the local community, so I'm delighted I'm now in the know and will be heading down to Beith to my next afternoon cake-fest and will pick up something a little different and exciting for dinner while I'm there.

Auchengree Farm Shop and Cafe, Glengarnock, Beith.

Facebook: Auchengree Farm shop. Open 7-days, 10am-5pm.