Simon Mellin and Nick Mellin: Roaming Roosters

Sustainable and ethical farming for “food that makes you feel good”

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Simon Mellin and Nick Mellin, 26 and 24
Company: Roaming Roosters

With a heritage deeply rooted in three generations of traditional butchery, it’s no wonder Roaming Roosters has carved an enviable little slice of the food and drink market. Founded in 2009 as a free-range chicken farm, Simon Mellin and brother Nick quickly realised the demand for sustainable, ethically produced meat. With their promise of “food that makes you feel good”, the Lancashire farm’s ethos is present in every aspect of the business; from the traditional farming and rearing methods and the strong emphasis on British native breeds to its sustainable water, soil and air conservation programme.

Already a moderately successful enterprise, in September 2012 Roaming Roosters’ business exploded after securing a £350,000 bank loan to extend their offering with an on-site bistro, wholesale and retail premises as well as an online shopping service featuring other ethical farms’ produce. This sent revenues rocketing from £49,000 in the previous year to more than £1m. The profitable company now employs 41, offers a not for profit Education Centre to teach sustainable farming and is on target to hit sales of £2.6m this year. The Mellins expect growth of their wholesale strand to take turnover to £4m next year, not to mention more shops in the pipeline.

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