Charles Secrett

Charles-Secrett-our-people6x9Growing up in a farming family must have made an impact as when I left home at 18 I followed my own successful career in horticulture. When my father was taken ill in the mid 1970’s I returned at his request to look after the business. At this time the farming world was rapidly changing and market farmers like us were responding to the ways in which our trade was evolving. The move from local shops to supermarkets, membership of the EU and movement of fresh produce meant a big change in the way we traded. Many of our core crops were competing with cheaper imports. In response to this in 1977 we turned our original stables that had housed our workhorses into a farm shop. We had a queue outside the day we opened and we never looked back. A couple of years later we also launched our pick your own business, which we know, our customers love too.

This was all new territory for me but I was determined that Secretts was going to be the best independent food retailer in Surrey. I worked closely with a food expert who helped me choose our stock and master the art of good food retailing. It took a few years of learning the ropes as we went along but it was a great education and made the shop what it is today.

We are still very much a family business and I was delighted when my son Greg decided he too wanted to work on the farm. Greg learnt his skills from our farm managers and a few years ago took over running the farm himself.  We are proud to be a real family business with a passion for growing and selling our own seasonal produce directly from our fields. Famous in the southeast for our heritage crops of carrots, beetroot and classical English vegetables, they feature on many local menus. Our salad leaves are served all over the county and in top London restaurants too plus a range of more unusual crops such as scorzerona. Of course we also supplement our own crops with imported favourites like bananas, avocadoes and other exotics.

Working alongside my team in the farm, farm shop and pick-your-own I am proud of how we have overcome changes in the world of food retailing and horticulture. Although home grown produce is still at the core of the business we are also recognized as a gourmet food destination. Alongside our fresh produce we also sell a fantastic range of artisan-produced food, fresh bread, cakes and ready prepared delicatessen treats.  We have been told our cheese-counter is one of the best in Surrey and with over 200 cheeses in stock we agree. You can buy everything you need in our shop to cook gourmet meals from scratch, buy a ready to eat feast or combine the two! We also sell all the essentials for midday meals, baking as well as a wonderful range of coffee and tea.

We strive to be at the heart of our community hosting seasonal events, farmers markets and children’s events. On site we have an award winning butchers, a fantastic tearoom plus a boutique and gift shop. Customers can also take advantage of the grounds on our estate with a walk around the lake.

With free on-site parking and plenty to do my team and I hope to welcome you to Secretts soon.