Old MacDonald’s Farm is an established farm park, B&B and campsite on the North Coast of Cornwall at picturesque Porthcothan Bay.
Owners Michelle and Robert Woodhead left their lives in the city four years ago to buy the established business and continue to develop their offering, working closely with local partners including Cornish Mutual.
The couple were prepared for the financial challenge of taking on a project of this size and were determined to draw on their practical skills to evolve the farm: Michelle was previously a childminder so had great experience with children, and describes herself as a ‘people person’, while Robert has a solid mix of practical and outdoor skills.
The biggest challenge for the couple was to learn about animal husbandry as the range of friendly pets are the key draw for visitors.
The business is varied. The couple employ six permanent staff with seasonal recruits for the busy summer months. The site has three B&B rooms and plenty of camping pitches with a toilet and shower block.
There is a Farmhouse Café which serves breakfast, lunch, ice-creams and cream teas. The café seats 48 and an outdoor veranda accommodates and additional 20 people. There are also plenty of seating areas around the farm for picnics.
A farm shop stocks snacks, sweets, basic supplies, alcohol including local cider and a wide range of toys, gifts and farm produce. Other facilities include a laundrette, baby changing area, toilets, free parking for coaches and cars.
For such a wide-ranging business, finding the right insurer was essential. Michelle explains that the previous owners spoke very highly of Cornish Mutual.
“Having been with another insurance provider for our first season, it was important to us for our business and home to be protected by an insurer who completely understood our business as Old MacDonald’s Farm is quite unique and there are multiple strands to it,” she says.
“Sam and Jim from Cornish Mutual totally got our business and were able to advise and guide us on what cover we needed, so we could get on with running our business. They were friendly, efficient and easy to talk to – just what you need when you’re running what can be an all-consuming business.”
The work never stops at Old MacDonald’s Farm. This summer has been as busy as ever with the campsite open from Easter to October. During the coming winter months, maintenance work takes place with a new duck pond area planned for the 2017 season.