GLOAGBURN Farm Shop, situated in Tibbermore, Perth, is owned and run by third-generation farmers, Ian and Alison Niven, and it all started from humble beginnings in 2003.

Since then, it now has a coffee shop, which can seat 100 people at a time, and a fantastic shop, selling the finest Scottish foodstuffs, which also sit next to the very popular, and extensive, range of Gloagburn’s home-made products.

In terms of the coffee shop at Gloagburn, everything is made on the premises, from the pastry to the jam, which ensures that quality, consistency and freshness is guaranteed for its customers.

Son of Ian and Alison, and full-time employee at Gloagburn, Fergus, commented: “We try to ensure that the products we use are sourced as locally as possible, but if we can’t manage that, then we focus on the quality of the item.

“We like to offer the best quality that we can.”

Although the coffee shop and its neighbouring shop are incredibly popular, it cannot be forgotten that Gloagburn is also a working farm, which specialises in free range eggs, which are produced every day on-site by the farm’s very own hens.

The hens were a small part of the farming business until the mid 1990s, when Alison and Fergus gradually developed the flock, with numbers now sitting at around 4600.

“They are one of our main focuses here, because we can use the eggs in our kitchen, but sell them on to our customers as well.

“People like that they are able to purchase our eggs, because it gives them that traceability and it allows them to enjoy the great taste that free-range eggs have,” explained Fergus.

Gloagburn has been farmed by the Niven family since 1924, when Ian’s grandfather, John Niven, moved from Fife to Perthshire, aged 24, to start his farming career.

His son, Jo, then joined him in 1946, on completion of his school days, during which time Aberdeen-Angus cattle were the mainstay of the farm.

In 1982, after completing his agricultural degree at Newcastle University, Ian joined the business, which had, by that point, become a more arable-based operation.

Expansion of the acreage occurred in 1997 and 2010, with the addition of two nearby units.

A mixture of arable crops are grown on the 450 acre site at Gloagburn and a large proportion of the winter barley, winter oats, spring barley and spring oats are grown for seed production.

Oil seed rape and winter wheat make up the remainder of the combinable crops, of which some of the wheat is used for feeding 4,600 hens.

Lastly, turnips and potatoes are grown, which are destined for the supermarkets, and then the grassland is grazed by beef cows and calves.

Another part of Gloagburn, which has proven very popular, is its herd of pigs. In residence are a few sows, with piglets at foot, and these, along with the free-range hens, are a great talking point for the customers.

“Pigs and hens aren’t always something that people see on a regular basis,” commented Fergus, “so customers being able to come here and actually see them, face-to-face, is a great experience for them.

“It also carries on the farm-to-fork message which we love to deliver here, and really educates people about where their eggs, and pork, comes from.”

With an array of food stuffs and beverages to choose from in the shop, a delicious selection of meals in the coffee shop, and beautiful views of a proper, working farm, it is no wonder that Gloagburn has become so popular in the local community and is such a fantastic little venue to spend an afternoon in.

And there is just no denying that it is simply impossible to resist visiting the cute faces of a sow and her little piglets, along with the bobbing heads of some delightful free-range chickens.