Since starting Knutty Mums I’ve come into contact with lots of exciting local businesses, many run by mums, and I love hearing more about them and their journey so far. Yesterday I had the pleasure of chatting to Maxine Wharfe, aka The Egg Lady!!
Maxine and her husband Ben have three children, Lydia (10), James (7) and Harrison (5). They run Sapling Home Farm in Lower Peover, selling and delivering the freshest of eggs to individuals, restaurants and pubs. I have heard many rave reviews about both the eggs and the service, so couldn’t wait to find out more….
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you ended up running a farm
I grew up down South, and met my husband, Ben, while he was in the army and I was working in food and drinks marketing. After our first child was born we made the decision that we really wanted to build a house on a plot of land near Ben’s parents’ dairy farm in Plumley. But it was agricultural land so we also needed to turn it into a working farm! And so the idea of an egg business was born! At first we were just selling to supermarkets and restaurants and it went on from there.
So how and when did “The Egg Lady” come about?
I’d started bringing in eggs for some of the mums at school, and became known as “The Egg Lady” by the kids as I was always walking round carrying trays of eggs!! About two years ago I decided to start making it a bit more formal, so started a Facebook page, offering delivery around Knutsford and Northwich. Within a couple of months we were getting so busy I had to set up a proper website so people could order and pay online, and started getting some school mums to help deliver. It’s just grown from there! I now have 5 school mums delivering for me and one employed 3 days a week to help with admin and so on.
So how do the deliveries work?
We have different days for different areas. We deliver to some areas weekly, like Knutsford and Northwich, and some fortnightly, like Wilmslow and Altrincham [see full list of delivery areas below]. People have to order by 12pm the day before, then I frantically do all the admin of setting up the sat navs and planning the routes for the next day. The eggs are laid the morning of delivery so they’re super fresh. They’re loaded up in the back of the cars and the ladies do their rounds…sometimes they can be out for 5 hours to deliver them all!!
Why should people buy their eggs from you?
As I said, they are laid the morning of delivery so are just super fresh! Unless you have your own hens you will not be able to get eggs this fresh. Eggs in the supermarket will be over 10 days old!! Also, we put a lot of effort into keeping our hens happy, and happy hens lay the best eggs. They have all the food and water they want, nice warm nests to cosy into at night and a really interesting natural habitat to roam in. There are even things for them to do indoors when the weather is bad…footballs to play with, a radio to listen to and shavings and straw for them to play in!!
How do people order and how much are they?
It’s easy, you can do a one off order online by 12pm the day before delivery to your area, or set up a regular delivery. And you don’t have to be in when we deliver, most people aren’t. We’ll follow your instructions about where to leave them! They’re sold in trays of 30, for £7, or £5.50 if you order more than 6 trays. So people sometimes club together with neighbours/friends/other school mums to order several trays to get the discount. Some say they might not get through 30 eggs but they will last for up to 28 days!! Restaurants and pubs can order through our sister company, Sapling Home Farm. We are proud to supply lots of fabulous local eateries such as The Lambing Shed, Wine and Wallop, The Church Green and more!
The Egg Lady delivers to:
- Alderley Edge (including Nether Alderley, Mottram St Andrew, Prestbury & Chelford)
- Altrincham/Sale (including Timperley, Hale, Hale Barns, Bowdon & Mere)
- Barnton (including Little Leigh)
- Hartford/Cuddington (including Sandiway & Whitegate)
- Holmes Chapel/Goostrey (including Allostock, Cranage & Sproston)
- Knutsford (including Mobberley, Toft & Ollerton)
- Lymm/Grappenhall (including Stockton Heath)
- Middlewich (including Byley)
- Northwich (including Lostock Gralam, Lach Dennis, Davenham, Kingsmead, Wincham, Pickmere & Moulton)
- Sandbach (including Elsworth)
- Wilmslow (including Handforth)
- Winsford (including Wharton)