Steven Kirby of Messingham Farm Shop & Café in Lincolnshire.

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How did you choose the location of your shop?

It was entirely down to fate. I happened to see this old school house when I was driving one day. I’d never been past it before and I wasn’t even looking for premises, but when I saw this place I doubled back and dialled the number on the sign and an agent came over right away to show me around.

I remember it was a Friday afternoon and I was standing there with parquet flooring below me and vaulted ceilings above, thinking “what a fantastic building”, so I bought it.

When did you open?

February 4 after several years of works.

What can be found in the shop?

Around a third of it is a house where I live and, as well as offering antiques, we have a florist, farm shop, café, deli and butcher.

Why is Messingham a good location for the business?

Messingham is a jewel in the crown of Lincolnshire. Here, people have time to talk to you. In London, where I lived for 59 years, it’s all rushing around at 200 miles per hour, but here there’s time to chat.

People come in and have a coffee and a cake and then come over to have a word – they often know me from TV (I’m on BBC’s Bargain Hunt and Channel 4’s Posh Pawn). We’ve already been very busy, with anyone from a one-day-old baby to a 100-year-old woman coming through the door.

What has been the hardest part of setting up?

The building work. It was a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

How do you display the stock?

Having a nice building really helps. The school is 110 years old and is the perfect backdrop to what we sell. There are chandeliers hung from the ceiling, a good mix of stock in display cabinets and on the wall.

We also have these Victorian sunken mothering chairs which we’ve reupholstered in modern, funky materials – people love them.

  • Messingham Farm Shop & Café, 42a Northfield Road, Messingham, Lincolnshire, DN17 3SA