In the first ever ranking of farm shops on a national basis, the Letzihof shop in Zug run by farmer Roger Iten has come in third place.
The farm shop run by the Iten family is actually housed in modern premises behind the farm, with a veranda furnished with tables and chairs for those who might like to linger over tea or coffee.
While the shop window is full of gift hampers with all sorts of local specialities produced by the family, the clean bright interior of the shops has various areas where fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy produce and other foods for daily needs are all beautifully presented.
The prize was actually awarded to the family by the Swiss Fruit-Growing Association at a recent agricultural fair in Bern, 46 shops having taken part in this “Most Beautiful Farm Shop” competition, which is now to be held every two years. As mentioned, the Iten family came in third place, the award duly displayed with pride on the counter. The three-man jury considered a number of aspects, including the range and quality of the goods, and how they were exhibited.
It was on hearing about the competition that Iten (photograph) thought he would take part, supported by his colleague, agricultural technician and master farmer, Marc Fellmann, who mentioned how the members of the jury came along twice to inspect everything.
Not that these two alone were responsible for the good impression they gave, Iten’s wife, Renate, and the whole team at the shop led by Yvonne Stocker all played their part. “They all have flair for showing things of at their best, not to mention the egg Spätzle (Swabian noodle-style speciality) jams and butter they make,” said Iten. Products from other farmers are also sold here, just as Iten’s products are sold at other farm shops.
The farm shop itself has actually been up and running for 30 years now, having originally been opened by Iten’s grandmother and mother on the ground floor of the farm, which was continually extended until the new premises were built four years ago. It is here also where some of the15-20 employees on the farm live.
The farm, on which they keep some 90 dairy cattle and 6,000 hens, produce table fruit and run a distillery, has actually been in the Iten family for five generations now, marketing as much as they can themselves, deliveries made on a daily basis to larger customers.
Not surprisingly, as journalist Cornelia Bisch who wrote this article pointed out, the shop enjoys many regular customers, passing clientèle lured in by the café in summer.
Further information can be found on www.iten-letzi-zug.ch.