When lockdown started Gourmet Leaves salad farm had to rapidly change their business model or face ruin. Kate Monk and her family worked flat out to set up a new home delivery service. The deliveries proved popular, but after two months of relentless working, they ran out of salad and energy, so they decided to take two weeks off. As Kate reports, it was far from a restful break.
Gourmet Leaves is a family lettuce farm navigating a new path for their business in response to Covid -19. In the second of her blogs, Kate Monk looks back to 2012 when they decided to take on a neglected vineyard in an idyllic spot of Devon. Life proved to be far from idyllic in the first years, as they battled against the weather living in a dilapidated park home.
Kate met her husband Jamie in Mexico in 2007 and, after many years travelling all over the world together, they teamed up with her mother to buy a derelict patch of land in rural Mid Devon. The idea for Gourmet Leaves was born in a call centre where Kate was working many years before. Whilst awaiting phone calls, she would design hydroponic systems, work out the costings and how to make the business work. She had no training in business or farming but picked up a love for the lifestyle during her years volunteering all over the world and has very much learned on the job. Her much missed career as a driving instructor is on hold for a while thanks to Covid. But it is allowing her the time to really focus on growing their farm and finding their place in the world of producers.