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11 massive things from 2023 and how 2024 is shaping up to be even better at The Barn KT9!

Updated: Jan 10

2023 was our biggest year yet here at The Barn KT9, here’s 11 of the key things we did last year, and how they’re all going to be even better in 2024!

Friday Nights at The Barn KT9
Friday Nights at The Barn KT9

  1. We opened the new cafe area on 1st March, and it’s been open every single day since then. It has worked a treat so far, but this year we have lots of plans to make it much better for you all. You may have noticed the new unit go in behind the main one in December. This gives us extra fridge, freezer and storage space, as well as food preparation capacity. We’re going to start testing some savoury lunch options in coming weeks with the aim of a regular menu ready for the spring. We also now have space for an Ice Cream freezer so expect some free samples once things start warming up so we can pick the absolute best local supplier for you to enjoy! Smoothies, hot sausage rolls and toasties are also on the to-do list.

  2. We upgraded our campsite’s compost loos to proper flushing loos in the spring which was a real game-changer. The campsite will be back open and better than ever across the summer, and the showers will be getting a nice glow-up too.

  3. The gym continues to grow, with more and more sell-out classes each week. We now have 44 classes per week, up from 29 a year ago. The addition of MFT to the timetable has boosted overall class capacity, and we’re so excited to be able to add even more classes in coming weeks as the demand grows, keep an eye out for announcements on which slots they will be in. If there is something you’d like on the timetable, let us know as you may not be the only one!

  4. In July we held our first Friday Nights At The Barn evening with James Dean on music duty and the Hungry Boys Kitchen knocking out burgers and chicken for the 120 of you who came along. We’re plotting how this works in 2024 at the moment, but expect similar events across the summer, and they’re likely to be ticketed this time so keep an eye on socials to ensure you don’t miss out!

  5. In April the guys from Trash Mile hosted their Surrey Sauce gravel event here, taking over the campsite and the hangar for a weekend of bicycles, beer, music and coffee. Follow our Barn KT9 Strava group for updates on all things bicycle related, and you'll get half priced coffee if you hold a KOM/QOM or LL on one of our segments!

  6. In September we were shortlisted for the Farmer's Guardian British Farming Awards Large Diversification of the year award. We didn’t really expect to win, all the other farms we were up against had been doing massive diversification projects for a lot longer than us, and most even had their own TV shows too! What it did do is open a few new doors for us, and saw an influx of other farmers getting in contact and asking about what we were doing and how we were doing it. We love having these conversations and in 2024 we’re excited to have plenty more.

  7. In a similar vein, in December we launched our YouTube channel. The channel has a few functions; for us to keep more of a record of what we are up to to look back on in the future; to show you some of what happens behind the scenes; and initially the main purpose is to talk in more depth about what we’ve done, how we’ve done it and how other farmers in a similar situation might be able to do the same.

  8. We also started to post more on our LinkedIn page about what we are up to and how we’ve done it. It’s not somewhere you find all that many farmers, but there are a lot of people in a similar bracket to us with potential to add new income streams to their farm business without all that much relevant first hand experience of how to do it.

  9. We did our first ever bit of paid advertising in December, with the Outside Back Cover of our favourite local magazine, Once Upon a Town turning into a beautiful illustrated map of the farm. This was a one-off, but in coming months we’re excited to start some proper digital marketing with some full funnel integrations with our new booking and CRM system, which will allow us to target all the right local people with some information about classes they might love in the gym. We promise not to be annoying.

  10. We actually had fewer events in the hangar in 2023 than in 2022, but it continues to be a popular spot. In the first half of 2023 we had over 300 requests to use the space for weddings, and we actually said no to all of them. We know the space works brilliantly for wedding parties, but we’re going to take some time away from evening functions for a couple of years. Having twins on the way is a large part of that, but we’re also keen to explore the midweek corporate event market more too. We’ve had to say no to dozens of corporate enquiries in the last couple of years as the Thursdays/Fridays they were after have clashed with existing wedding and event bookings. The corporate bookings we’ve had to date have all been a hit, if your company fancies a day out at The Barn with some yoga, cycling, MFT, woodland walks, food & drink and a bit of a party, drop us an email for some more info!

  11. We’re having Twins! Once the initial shock started to subside, we realised it was great news for both us and the business! We’re going to need some (a lot) of time off, so we need to make sure the Gym and Cafe in particular are in safe hands, and as you know, they definitely are. This means that once we are back in the game, there will be more time available, in theory, to focus on some of the bigger picture projects here away from the day-to-day jobs.

Thank you for reading, as always please drop us a message on here, Instagram or email with any questions or suggestions at all, no matter how big or small. Get yourselves subscribed to our YouTube, LinkedIn, Strava and Instagram feeds for all the latest info.

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