Keelham Farm Shop

“Our shop is a showcase for local Yorkshire produce,” says Victoria Robertshaw, who co-owns Keelham Farm Shop – named as one the best 50 in the UK by the Independent newspaper and amongst the top three in Yorkshire – with her brother James.

“We produce our own lambs, but everything else is sourced from local farmers”.

This commitment to supporting producers and farmers from the region is reflected in Mrs Robertshaw’s desire to work with professional services providers who are equally dedicated to championing the development of local businesses – and that is exactly what she has found in Watson Buckle.

“The team at Watson Buckle really supports our business and understands it. They are really interested, which makes a big difference”.

Keelham Farm Shop was started over 30 years ago by Mrs Robertshaw’s father Andrew. Since then, the business has changed from a self-employed farmer selling potatoes to a limited company with 110 employees and sales of £8.2 million.

One thing that has remained the same though, is Watson Buckle’s support for the business.

“When dad started the farm shop, he worked with Watson Wood, which merged with Charles D Buckle & Co to form Watson Buckle. James and I have carried on working with the firm, as our business has really changed since then and Watson Buckle has evolved with us,” explains Mrs Robertshaw.

“When we inherited the business, the team at Watson Buckle helped us through that, and then supported us in going from a partnership to a limited company. As our needs have changed, the team we work with at Watson Buckle has evolved to ensure we progress.”

In the early days, Watson Buckle prepared Keelham Farm Shop’s accounts from scratch. Now that there are four people employed at the shop to take care of the finances, the accountancy firm handles the statutory audit and is very active in terms of tax planning, as well as advising on company structure and the best way to do things.

“Watson Buckle is also involved in lots of special projects,” says Mrs Robertshaw. “For example, we were deciding last summer whether to stay with our current bank or not. The team at Watson Buckle helped with whole process and attended the meetings, which were actually held in their offices. They provided the independent third party advice that we needed.”

Watson Buckle has also been very active in advising on the directors’ remuneration, which has enabled the farm shop to make substantial savings that have been reinvested back into the development of the business.

“The accountants have also helped us with developing a tax-efficient pension scheme, and we have just met with them and our lawyer to discuss how to structure the purchase of another company.

“We always involve Watson Buckle very early on in projects, as they are a trusted business advisor. I can pick up the phone, ask for their opinion and I really value the advice I get back.

“John Kinsella, in particular, has been instrumental in our growth and development, utilising Watson Buckle’s membership of the international accounting network MGI Worldwide. Indeed, the whole team is very responsive and commercially focused, and has helped us save a lot of money. We don’t just see them once a year for the audit.”

In fact, Mrs Robertshaw always speaks so highly of Watson Buckle that her husband’s business has switched to them.

“They are not your stereotypical nerdy accountants. We have a very can do attitude and Watson Buckle mirrors this very well.”