TWO WEEKS ago the shelves of an award-winning farm shop near Winchester lay empty after £3,000 worth of produce was stolen.

Now though, the family-run Beechcroft Farm Shop at Farley Mount is almost back to full strength, and owner Rachel Waldron couldn’t be more pleased.

“We have managed to get our stock back up and we are nearly back to where we were,” she said.

“The farm is busy at the moment, and lambing season has started. It will take more than that to take Beechcroft Farm down. It was such a horrible experience.”

The shop, which newlywed Rachel runs with her parents Joy and Nick Waldron, has been in the family alongside the farm since the 1930’s, and last year won the coveted Hampshire Life Best Farm Shop Award for its lamb, beef and pork which is reared, produced and sold on site.

Thieves emptied the shelves between midnight and 7am on February 8, and left only some sausages and beef offal behind.

The beef at the Sarum Road based shop is hung for 28 days, and Rachel said it was lucky they had a large cow in the abattoir already, because otherwise they would not have been able to restock so quickly.

“I think this coming weekend (March 1) will probably see us back up to full strength,” she said.

“We managed to do the farmers market last weekend, which was the first one since the break in.

“It’s still taking some time but we have had so much support it has been lovely, our customers have been brilliant.”

There are currently no witnesses or suspects, and police have launched an investigation.