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Our remarkable journey...
Starts with our founder, ‘Buddy’ Mansfield, and continues to this day with the third generation of the family now involved in the business. It is from his vision, and the passion and dedication of his children and grandchildren, that Mansfields has grown from a small plot in Dargate, Kent to an operation farming three thousand acres and producing over twenty-five thousand tonnes of fruit each year.
Frederick William ‘Buddy’ Mansfield born 1923.
One of 8 siblings born & living in East London. Raised by his mother only as sadly his father died when Buddy was very young.
From young, Buddy & his siblings had to help man their family grocery store.
At school, Buddy thrived intellectually & earnt a scholarship, but declined this to help his mother at home & in the grocery shop- this was his number one priority.
At 19, Buddy flew the nest to marry Margret Robins. They wanted to start a family & take over her family business.
With the help & support of Margret’s family, Buddy established a greengrocers in Romford, Essex. Buddy had an eye for opportunity, so not long after starting, it was expanded by moving into wholesaling to supply his retailing outlets.
In 1968, Buddy purchased a small holding in Dargate, Kent (near Faversham) to grow his own produce. With the success of this, Buddy was able to buy another farm in Broad Oak, Canterbury. Buddy missed his grocery store in East London & the greengrocer in Romford, so Buddy built a quaint farm shop at Broad Oak.
Broad Oak farm shop was a hit with its local produce & regular customers, travelling from surrounding towns & villages. Christmas queues were stretching up to a mile long at Broad Oak!
The huge success of Broad Oak meant Buddy could begin to invest in the future of farming & his son Paul (born 1960) joined the business by his father’s side.
Nickle farm was bought in 1994 & became the company's headquarters. Larger investments were made in picking, packing & grading.
Buddy continued working at the company into his eighties. He would always be seen in his red pick-up truck running errands around the farms.
Buddy sadly passed away in 2011, aged 88. He has a son, daughter, 5 grandchildren & 4 great-grandchildren. He was laid to rest at the top of the valley at Nickle Farm overlooking the fruit of his labours.
Today, Paul runs the business which grows over 25,000 tonnes of fruit each year over 3,000 acres of farmland. Buddy is proudly remembered at Mansfields with his picture in the entrance as you walk in.