Stephen and Philip Taylor are the third generation of the Taylor family to grow fruit at Lathcoats, and have now been joined by Stepen's son James, the fourth generation.
The oldest part of the farmhouse dates back to the 14th century, but the Taylor family’s connection started in 1912 when Lawrence Taylor bought the farm and started to plant up the land with fruit trees. He sent apples to Covent Garden market by train and won many prizes in what was a flourishing local fruit growing industry.
His son Maurice followed on and today grandsons Stephen and Philip continue the tradition, with Stephen's son James now the first of the fourth generation to join the family business. Now one of the few remaining fruit growers in Essex, the Taylor family celebrated 100 years of fruit growing in 2012, winning Essex Life Magazine’s Best Farm Shop award in the same year.
Today, over 40 varieties of apple as well as 9 different soft fruits are grown on the farm.
Around 50 people of all ages work at Lathcoats, and this number roughly doubles during harvest time.
Some of our customers have shopped with us since our farm shop was little more than a shed, selling apples (in season) and potatoes. We made significant changes in 2000 to focus our sales locally and to be an outlet for other family producers and undertook another big refurbishment in 2012 culminating in the opening of the Bee Shed Coffee House in April 2013.
We are proud that our farm shop is holding its own despite the heavy presence of supermarkets in Chelmsford, and would like to thank all our customers for their support.