Not just a retailer – a real family farm. And it makes all the difference in the world.
We don’t just sell goods, we live and breathe farming, and our family has been
doing that here in the Craigantlet Hills of North Down, Northern Ireland, since 1922.
Our business isn’t just what we do – it’s who we are.
Our Family Story
In 1922 Sam McKee bought a farm high in the Craigantlet Hills, looking down over
Strangford Lough and across to Scrabo Tower. With a few cows, pigs and hens,
along with some drills of potatoes, he farmed to feed his family and neighbours
the traditional Ulster way. Sam and his wife Margaret had three little McKee’s,
who all grew up picking the spuds and gathering the freshly laid eggs every
morning before school.
Colin and Linda
Four generations on, the same farm is run today by Colin and Linda McKee. We
carry on the original McKee’s belief in traditional, home-grown, local produce.
Everything on the menu is made from scratch, from fresh ingredients, by our own
chefs in our own kitchen. And in the country store, the vast majority of the
produce is grown on local farms just a stone’s throw from our premises.
Our Farm Today
We farm 400 acres of land here in the hills of north Down, and we raise nearly
600 cattle every year. We grow our own wheat, barley and grass and have a small
team of experienced farm staff to manage the day-to-day running. We’ve recently
invested in renewable energy to help the environment – we care about the
countryside which previous generations of McKees farmed before us.
Home reared beef
Our herds are mostly Aberdeen Angus and Limousin, fed on high quality grass,
reared from calves. Colin keeps a close eye on the herds every day, and he and
Isaac can often be seen out on the quads or the tractors taking care of the
cattle. We believe the flavour speaks for itself - you just can’t get this
quality from a supermarket-bought, pre-packed, polystyrene tray.
Free Range Chicken and Eggs
We have a flock of 50 free range hens, from which we collect around 350 fresh
eggs every week. You can see some of our hens near the car park entrance as you
arrive. We also bake with eggs from a quality local producer that we’ve known
for many years.
Other local trusted producers
There are other growers in our area who share our commitment to the best local
produce, and we are delighted to offer their products to our customers – meat
such as lamb and pork, vegetables and potatoes, and dairy products like milk,
yoghurt, cheese and even ice cream! We are always keen to support local
enterprise, so if you have a product which shares our business ethos and which
you’d like us to stock, please get in touch.