Andrew and Jenny Jones

Rackery Retreat

Rackery Farm, Wrexham

Family is at the heart of this glamping diversification, run by Andrew and Jenny Jones with the help of their three daughters Vicky, Gemma and Larissa.

Today the farm is predominantly an arable operation, together with a small beef herd, with the glamping venture born after Andrew and Jenny made the difficult decision to sell their milking herd after Andrew was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018.

Inspired by Andrew’s philosophy of ‘only being able to change the future’, being positive was the only option and the couple embraced and launched their diversification into agritourism.

The site consists of three high-end, exclusive safari tent lodges, complete with fitted kitchens and bathrooms, hot tubs, long burners and unspoiled views of the Welsh/Cheshire border.

Andrew and Jenny undertake all maintenance and day-to-day running of the glamping site alongside the farm, while the emails, booking and social media channels for the retreat are managed by Gemma and Larissa around their full-time jobs in sales and marketing.

Social media

Promotion of the retreat is mainly done via social media, with Instagram being the main focus alongside Facebook. Their approach to social media management has seen the business build up a significant following to more than 19,000, with 90 per cent of bookings coming directly from Instagram thanks in the main to working and collaborating with bloggers and influencers as well as posting regular content.

Although Covid-19 forced the business to close for a period earlier in the year, bookings have since surged, as more families have sought to spend their holidays in the UK.

The couple’s attention to detail, says Andrew, contributes to their aim of ensuring visitors can enjoy a relaxing break where nothing is too much trouble.

On winning, Andrew Jones said:

“As a family, we are hugely proud to have won this award. It’s a project that everyone has been able to get involved in and take forward, so it means a lot to all of us. We were all a bit gutted we couldn’t get to the party but we were able to get together with the family at home for a meal and few bubbles to celebrate.”

“In the fall out of any bad situation, there are always opportunities to make the best of it. Although we were shut and didn’t do any business from March until early July; as soon as we were able to open, we have been fully booked. A rise in people opting to stay in the UK this summer has played into our hands – while it has been a challenging year it could have been a lot worse.

“The dearest things in your life, you cannot buy. Agriculture is a community, but it’s an industry that has been so vital this year when food was in short supply on supermarket shelves. Farmers do what they do every year, but they don’t perhaps get valued in the way they have to some extent this year.”

What the judges said:

“Rackery Retreat has developed into a significantly reputable business within the competitive ‘staycation’ marketplace in just over two years. All of the judges were seriously impressed with Rackery’s quality offering and approach to marketing and specifically its use of social media. While each member of the family is responsible for their own area of the business to co-incide with their strengths, it’s clear a key strength is how they work wonderfully together as a team.