Pollards of Thirkleby

The Pollards have lived at Thirkleby Mill, Thirsk since 1901, initially being millers, then moving into farming in the 1960s…

Andrew and Ruth’s children constitute the 6th generation of Pollards at the Mill. Over the years, the Pollards developed their expertise in poultry farming for the December trade, producing tasty turkeys and chickens for the Christmas dinner table. When Andrew and Ruth were looking for ways to diversify the farm’s portfolio, it seemed obvious to utilise their expert skill and knowledge of rearing and selling poultry. The Pollards of Thirkleby brand was born!

Pollards sell their produce from what is known locally as “the chicken van”, which has gathered quite a following across the local area! The customer feedback is consistent. People want to know and appreciate where their chicken has come from, that it has been treated well throughout and that the food miles are extremely low. Most importantly, customers value buying straight from the food producer, someone they can have a direct, personal relationship with.

One day, while out and about in the chicken van, a customer asked “so what do you do with your chicken mince Ruth?” Ruth has been making chicken meatballs for her family dinner table for years, so it seemed only logical to give her customers the chance to enjoy them too. Pollards of Thirkleby chicken meatballs were added to their range and have been very well received ever since, being one of Ruth’s most popular products. Two varieties are available, Italian meatballs (seasoned with garlic, parmesan and oregano) and spicy meatballs. Both are gluten-free.

All chickens are reared sustainably at Thirkleby, and are higher welfare, free range-total freedom chickens meaning they have continuous day-time access to open-air runs of an unlimited area. They are prepared for sale in custombuilt premises on the farm. The chicken meat provides a wide-range of chicken products from whole oven-ready chickens, succulent breast fillets and juicy legs to seasoned chicken sausages and burgers.

Ruth says, “We are really proud of all our products. Customers always come back for more. We tend to shy away from supplying trade, instead preferring to supply the end consumer direct. However, when we heard SNAP! deliver locally sourced Yorkshire food in their recipeboxes, it seemed ridiculous for us not to work together.