Poplar Food Hall opened on Wednesday (March 24) next to the garden centre entrance at Poplar Nurseries.

The 3,000sq ft new facility was built to cope with growing demand for local produce in the farm shop, which started 10 years ago.

The new building has a larger selection of local fruit and veg, fresh fish, a variety of deli treats, and an increased number of goods from small batch British food and drink suppliers.

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The new larger premises will enable the team to serve up more of their homecooked treats such as cakes and other baked goods and ready meals.

It is creating up to 10 new jobs and supports producers across Essex and the UK.

Dunmow Broadcast: The deli at Poplar Food HallThe deli at Poplar Food Hall (Image: Poplar Food Hall)

Dunmow Broadcast: Poplar Food Hall team with the first customerPoplar Food Hall team with the first customer (Image: Poplar Food Hall)

Mandy Cowan, manager of Poplar Food Hall, said: “What started off as a small farm shop has really grown in popularity as our homemade offerings have become real favourites with our customer base, and we wanted to expand on that success.

"We’ve slowly run out of space inside the farm shop over the years as demand has grown and it was time for us to move to a bigger building that gives us room to expand.

“All of our homemade treats are made using local ingredients, as much as possible, and we aim to keep supporting British suppliers moving forward.

"There’s really incredible local produce out there ready to be enjoyed and we want our customers to experience that and learn to shop more on their doorstep.”

All customers in the first week until March 31 will receive a free raffle ticket for a draw to win a hamper of foodie goodies.

Poplar Nurseries is a family-run business spanning three generations, based at Coggeshall Road, Marks Tey, CO6 1HR.

Dunmow Broadcast: Poplar Food Hall from the outsidePoplar Food Hall from the outside (Image: Poplar Food Hall)