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New farm shop or cafe? Get it right first time with RNUK.

An architect will produce drawings for your building and the best time to call in expert help for farm shop and cafe design is while the plans are still flexible. RNUK has worked alongside architects to get the right provision for doors, windows, water and waste, lighting and power, storage, provision for staff, offices and toilets in the plans before they are submitted for planning and building regulations.


When designing a retail space, it is important to consider:


  • The farm shop should have a satisfactory means for staff to move around behind the scenes to get to deliveries and storage, with access to outdoors space for waste storage that’s out of sight (and out of other senses) for customers. 

  • Don’t forget the office. Its size will depend on the size of the shop and number of managers and ideally people working in it should be able to see the farm shop (in case of issues) and keep an eye on the staff room. 

  • Ambient storage space does not need to be large but it should be easy to organise. More important is access to chillers, fridges and freezers for different product categories.  

  • Toilets - if you have a cafe you will need to have a toilet or toilet. This is where RNUK’s expertise has saved its clients money through careful planning of water and waste. 

  • Your cafe needs to optimise the number of covers without feeling cramped - people like to have positive space for meeting and eating. 

  • Your kitchens and butchery are an opportunity for retail theatre but have to be practical - design them that way from the start.

  • Keep things as flexible as possible; we build in your need to change your merchandising layout from time to time and seasonally, and will work with you to create as innovative a farm shop as your budget will allow.


Retail Netwerks have designed for numerous farm shops and independent retailers, as well as worked closely with existing retail operations. We not only understand retail, but importantly all the additional services and aspects that can easily go overlooked if you aren't in the know. 

Getting it right first time is our goal when it comes to retail design, as making changes to your operation - especially service areas - can be a very costly and time consuming exercise down the line. We believe it is best to seek expert help and invest wisely from the beginning, whether you are starting a new farm retail operation or expanding your existing business. 

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