A FARM shop owner is stepping down after struggling to run the business on her own after the death of her husband.

Gardeners Farm Shop owner Sue Rycraft has announced she will be taking a step back from the business and handing the shop over to new bosses.

She has decided to step down from running the popular farm shop and focus more on the farm and family time.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Shop: outside the Gardener's Farm ShopShop: outside the Gardener's Farm Shop (Image: Sue Rycraft)

Taking over the reins will be Natasha Williamson of Tasha’s Tasty Treats and sister Nicola Burrell.

Tasha’s Tasty Treats bakery has been based at the farm for a few months and will now be expanding on the site.

The farm shop, in Maldon Road, Goldhanger, will be closed for a couple of weeks for refurbishment in preparation for the new owners.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Products: inside the farm shopProducts: inside the farm shop (Image: Sue Rycraft)Maldon and Burnham Standard: Christmas: Shaggy 2 Short owners and Gardener's Farm Shop previous Christmas snowmanChristmas: Shaggy 2 Short owners and Gardener's Farm Shop previous Christmas snowman (Image: Sue Rycraft)

Also based on the site is dog grooming parlour Shaggy 2 Short, which recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary.

On social media, Sue thanked her customers for their support this year and wished everyone a happy new year.

She assured visitors this is only a “semi-retirement” as she will still be working on the farm.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Camping: camping site on the farmCamping: camping site on the farm (Image: Sue Rycraft)

She had a difficult start at the business when her husband died suddenly, but went on to grow the business into a well-known and respected shop.

Sue told the Maldon and Burnham Standard: “We opened the shop in 2011,  but unfortunately just eight months later my partner passed away of a massive heart attack, leaving me to struggle alone.

“But over time, with the help of my family, I managed to juggle it all.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Family: Sue with her daughter who helps at the shopFamily: Sue with her daughter who helps at the shop (Image: Sue Rycraft)

“I now find myself in a position to pass the baton on to Tasha and Nicola. They will be renting the shop from me, allowing me some time for all the other things that need my attention on the farm.

“We have various other businesses on the farm - Shaggy2short grooming parlour and a camping and caravan site to name a couple.

“Hopefully I'll have additional time for more holidays, especially after the hard life I have had.”