Local Face: Garry King

Garry King is a prime example of a local boy who went into the family business and made a big impact. Born and bred on Loudwater Farm, Nash Lee Road, Garry attended John Hampden First School and was one of the last pupils at the Old Wendover School. Then he moved to John Colet School before attending Hampden Hall Agricultural College. As a lad he was a member of the Vale of Aylesbury Pony Club and quite a star at One Day Events.

Although a farmer’s son his original thought was to be an electrician but by the time it came to leaving school he realised his destiny was on the land. In recent years diversification has been the name of the game in farming so when Garry joined the business full time the family was looking for new outlets for their poultry, pigs and cattle. The obvious thing was to set up a freezer shop selling half sides of pork, whole lambs and quarters of beef. The shop opened in 1981 and Garry’s mother Daphne was then the driving force.

At this time Wild’s Butcher’s Shop (now Toc H), in Aylesbury Road, Wendover was changing hands and Fred Simmonds, came to help because the customers preferred to buy chosen cuts of meat rather than whole animals. Fred was very well known in Wendover and brought many loyal customers with him. King’s Farm Shop was now set up and ready. By 1983 it had doubled in size. Mark Camber, a fully trained butcher, joined from the Co-Op in Princes Risborough and Garry became actively involved both as Manager and learning the trade from Fred. In 1989 more expansion was needed with a cold room for storage and a freezer added at the back. Yet another butcher, Bret Scott, joined the team as an apprentice.

Ever since the beginning King’s Farm Shop, had been awarded a Clean Premises Certificate from the Trading and Standards Department of Aylesbury Vale District Council. In 1992 they were awarded the Clean Food Award.

King’s Farm Shop is a regular old fashioned Butchers’ offering individually cut fresh meat but also some specialist prepared foods including Daphne’s own cooked hams and tongue as well as four different flavours of pork sausages, and one venison. Last year they invested in a burger making machine so now offer home made beef-, chicken- and vege-burgers, all additive-free. This ties in with their summer-time speciality of barbecue goods, including a barbecue hire service and charcoal, Beech Dean Dairies Ice Cream, Homemade Cakes and local potatoes by the sackful. At crucial times, Garry still helps his father, Richard who has the great responsibility of producing all the livestock and poultry including the turkeys which come as day old poults in August ready for Christmas fattening. Daphne is helped by Sylvia Machin to collect the eggs which are sold in the shop. The family interest in the business continues with Garry’s schoolboy nephew, David King, starting to help on Saturday mornings.

One of the particularly popular features of the shop itself is the car parking which makes it so easy pick up orders. As well as 300 regular weekly customers in the shop, Garry delivers meat to local restaurants and other establishments within an 8 mile radius of Wendover.

Garry’s other nephew, Christopher King, plays in goal for Wendover Middle School Football Team, hence King’s Farm Shop is now sponsoring the team strip. This is only possible because local people are supporting a local business which can in turn support the local community.