The essential journalist news source
Island eggs return to local co-operative stores

16 August 2022

Island eggs return to local co-operative stores

Photo: Sharon at Hazelgrove eggs

Free range chickens on the Isle of Wight are moving up the pecking order as their eggs are now being sold in Co-operative Food stores on the Island.

Southern Co-op's convenience stores haven't had locally laid eggs for several months as their previous suppliers took a step back from their business after more than 30 years.

Since then Hazelgrove Farm has stepped in and their eggs are now proudly displayed in the eight stores on the Island - Bembridge, Carisbrooke, Cowes, Freshwater, Rookley, Ryde, Sandown, and Shanklin.

The family run farm in Ashey has now spanned four generations after it was first bought by Sharon's grandparents, before passing to her mother and is now run with the help of her partner, three children and grandson.

Sharon, who was born and raised on the Isle of Wight, said: "My daughter is our delivery driver, my son is a beef farmer and also an electrician, and my other daughter is a teacher who helps out during school holidays.

"It's something we love. My kids want to carry it on. It has to be a passion really as there's not a lot of money in it.

"I enjoy being outside, enjoying the rural life and all the wildlife you see. It's different every day."

Sharon brought chickens back to the farm in 2011 and made sure they were all free range.

"We have 4,500 chickens in eight different houses and you do get your characters - you get the one that jumps into the van all the time," added Sharon.

"At the moment, they have really long days as they go our first thing in the morning and stay out until late in the evening. They are out and about and doing things naturally and enjoying themselves. One thing they love is dust bathing."

Hazelgrove Farm's eggs have been added to Southern Co-op's Local Flavours range which was first introduced in 2007 on the Isle of Wight. It supports farmers and producers, bringing the best local food and drink from across southern England to its convenience stores.

Matt Elliott, Southern Co-op's Retail Buying & Services Manager, who looks after the Local Flavours range, said: "We've been celebrating our 15thanniversary this year so it's great to have Sharon and her family on board at such a special time.

"As an independent, regional co-operative, we strive to be a sustainable and responsible business and our Local Flavours range is just one way in which we achieve this."

Every county where Southern Co-op trades has a bespoke Local Flavours range which may include cheeses, yogurts, cream, ice cream, cakes and baked goods, sandwiches, meat, fish or beer.

To find out more about the Southern Co-op's Local Flavours range, visit