It has been the passion of the Taverner family to produce great farm food for many years. They have farmed for four generations at Kennford and before that for four generations at Dunsford in the Teign Valley. The business is now run by Rob and Helen Taverner.
The farm shop started by selling eggs from their back door via an honesty system. Fresh meat sales were added to this on Fridays, then Thursdays and eventually Saturday mornings. This evolved into a business that is now open six days a week with a staff of up to 20 full- and part-time members and includes a well-stocked farm shop and restaurant including an ice cream parlour selling award-winning ‘orange elephant’ ice cream, a butchery selling home made sausages and burgers made on the farm plus home produced farm meat.
“What makes us unique is that we are the only farm in the world milking and breeding the Devonshire Milking cows, nicknamed the orange elephants. The milking herd consists of 180 cows and all the milk is organic. Two members of staff milk and look after the cows, 100 herd of beef and 200 chickens. The beef and eggs are sold in the farm shop,” says Rob.
“Our ice cream is made in small batches of 10 litres at a time to our own recipes and we have developed over 40 varieties. This allows us to come up with flavours such as ‘Ruby Red Rhubarb’, ‘Muddy Green Wellies’ and the award-winning ‘Elderflower and Lime’ and ‘Blueberry Yogurt’ flavoured ice cream. We can change flavours and add to them all the time,” Rob continues.
The staff and customers come up with ideas for new flavours, plus their choices are influenced by what fruit is in season. At the moment because the Devon Milking herd is small, the ice cream is only available directly from Taverners.