It all began in the garden adjacent to her husband’s farm in Staffordshire forty odd years ago. Carole Bamford noticed that her roses were wilting, the cause was identified as crop spraying chemical drift. Her conversion to organic was almost instant and in the vanguard of the conservation ethic of biodiversity and protection of the environment. The family farm turned organic and Carole turned her attention to her family’s diet, preferring a balanced seasonal organic menu. She believes in purity, which means not putting chemicals on the land or inside your body or on your skin as they will end up in your blood.
Twenty years later Carole developed the ultimate farm shop. The farm moved to Gloucestershire and is now farming for a greener future. Carole collaborated with a local cheese maker to make her own cheese from her dairy cow’s milk to sell alongside her home-grown produce; from a humble farm shop with a café selling soup and sandwiches, she is now the commander in chief of the Daylesford and Bamford brands. Daylesford shop now comprises of a delicious grocery, bakery, butchery and delicatessen counters; there is not only a café but a bar and the Old Spot Restaurant; a cooking school and cottages for rent complete the country idyll. The Daylesford concept migrated to London’s hotspots of Chelsea and Notting Hill, both have a Daylesford convenience store and healthy restaurant, the staff are smiling and helpful even to the extent of having a specific menu for vegetarians or vegans available on request. There is a morality element to her thinking too, Carole is very conscious of the 1.3billion tons of food wasted globally each year, Daylesford hold regular discussions with experts about the role of households and large corporations in our throw away culture and how we can make an impact in reducing food waste; one such evening served a scrumptious dinner of organic dishes made from ingredients that some might have considered “waste”, the message is mindful consumption. Carole works with The Felix Project who collect food from supermarkets and wholesalers that is still fresh and nutritious but cannot be sold for a host of reasons. This is delivered to charities that provide for the elderly, homeless, refugees and those with mental health issues or deserving families with children.
In the early 2010’s the Bamford brand introduced the Haybarn Spa with the legendary Yoga studio and the clothing line that is inspired by India, hand-loomed raw natural fabrics in the colours of India but still never departs from Carole’s own dress code and decorating palette of neutral and muted natural colours. Carole appreciates the fine khadi cloths, block prints, embroidery and jali seams that are the tradition of artisans in India. The spa offers own brand and other branded aromatherapy products and many types of massage, including more rarified treatments like Reiki and dream analysis. All the practioners are at the top of the tree of life, if there is one thing that Carole Bamford recognises it is quality.