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Farm Shop & Deli Award Winners Unveiled

The winners of the Farm Shop & Deli Awards have been announced; the defining class of 2020, chosen from a prestigious, 51-strong shortlist of UK speciality retailers.

The ceremony was broadcast via social media, following the postponement of the flagship Farm Shop & Deli Show due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Host Nigel Barden paid tribute to the ‘phenomenally high’ quality of finalists, adding: “not only do they patently care about their customers, but the sense of community they’ve exhibited, particularly recently, shows how fortunate we are to have such remarkable artisan food retailers, in our midst.”

Spanning 11 categories, as well as a coveted ‘Newcomer of the Year’ gong, the awards, held in partnership with The Grocer, were founded to recognise the very best standards in speciality retail and celebrate the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement.

In uncovering the eventual winners, broadcaster, journalist and judges’ chair Nigel, was joined by a panel including food writer and co-chair Elaine Lemm, Deputy Editor at British Baker, Amy North, Owner of Wellgate Fisheries and President of the National Federation of Fishmongers, Giles Shaw, Fresh Foods Reporter at The Grocer, Henry Sandercock and Richard Nicholson from Cannon Hall Farm Shop – 2019’s Retailer of the Year award winners.

Nigel said, “From a fantastic collection of speciality retailer finalists, dedicated to artisan quality, service and the communities they serve, we now have the very best of the best! What a fabulous group of winners they are; shining beacons in their respective fields – truly 2020’s finest!”

The announcement was completed by the reveal of the 2020 Retailer of the Year. In addition to winning Cheesemonger of the Year and the regional award for North West, the accolade went to The Courtyard Dairy. Judges commented: “The Swinscoes & their young family live on site & have their own stock grazing in the surrounding fields.  The idea of a cheese vending machine for emergency out of hours purchases is a stroke of genius & just another example of how the Swinscoes inspire themselves, their 10 staff & a legion of adoring customers.  A truly worthy winner of our Retailer of the Year accolade.”

The Winners in full:

Baker    

Lovingly Artisan, Cumbria

Judges said: “They illustrate a great passion for hand-crafted breads and really take into consideration the health aspects of their ingredients.  They have an excellent synergy with local suppliers and are investing in a new retail & education hub, but although expanding, they’re careful not to lose sight of their beginnings.”

Butcher      

Brace of Butchers, Dorset

Judges said: “They continue to show significant increases in turnover and footfall, while embracing plastic free and environmentally friendly practices, such as reusable packaging and refillable milk stations.  A fabulous, modern shop with a smart website, good community links and a customer-first approach.”

Cheesemonger and North West regional winners     

The Courtyard Dairy, North Yorkshire

Judges said: “A fantastic out-and-out cheese shop, with a real passion for promoting farm made cheeses, which are matured on site by staff with a great in-depth knowledge. Real champions of the local community.”

Delicatessen and South East regional winners  

Panzer’s, St John’s Wood

Judges said: “A large, thriving deli which continues to see good percentage increases in turnover while keeping to their traditional values and heritage. Their staff-to-customer ratio is amazing and another good reason why this is a busy urban business.”

Farm Shop Large Retailer and South West regional winners    

Strawberry Fields Farm Shop and Restaurant, Devon

Judges said: “This farm shop is ambitious and forward thinking. A proper joined up business. Loved the fact they’re self-sufficient for electricity via eco-friendly means. Some talk the talk; these guys walk the walk!”

Farm Shop Small Retailer and Midlands regional winners  

Welbeck Farm Shop, Nottinghamshire

Judges said: “Good use of social media, with strong imagery. They were early adopters of the unpackaged format, champion raw milk and are dedicated to having happy, educated and inspired staff.”

Fishmonger  

Cross of York, North Yorkshire

Judges said: “Sustainability and education are key, and they continue to make a real success of being on the high street. It’s traditional and how we expect fresh fish should be.”

Food Hall and Scotland regional winners  

The Crieff Food Co, Perthshire

Judges said: “There’s a huge focus on local sourcing, particularly in their excellent butchery department, combined with an enticing store front.  They face big existential challenges with a can-do attitude.”

Greengrocer       

K.D.Davis & Sons (The Greengrocers) Ltd, South Yorkshire

Judges said: “Marvellous to see a mature business that’s still growing at a healthy rate, driven by great commitment from the owners. They continue to recognize the value of existing customers while still actively hunting for new ones. Their colourful stall is a joy to behold and for those who can’t get to see it, deliveries are made by the same, familiar, friendly drivers every week.”

Online Business     

Dukeshill Ham Co Ltd, Shropshire

Judges said: “Great photography, including a fabulous team photo.  They’ve added a blog to give another reason to visit the website.  There’s a huge commitment to staff training. This site is so much more than just functional.”

Village Store / Local Shop   

Fittleworth Stores, West Sussex

Judges said: “Absolutely at the heart of their community, with staff that span all ages including DofE students. Profits are reinvested into the community and they provide a meeting place for local groups and combat isolation for older people. Well run, with good business acumen.”

Newcomer     

The Crieff Food Co, Perthshire

Judges “They run supplier days, which are a great way of attracting those seeking provenance & they’re strong on making their own branded ready meals.  Another example of why they have sustained business growth.”

East Anglia

The Norfolk Delicatessen, Hunstanton

Judges said: “Liked the continental feel of the exterior of this shop. The interior is warm and higgledy-piggledy and yet actually wonderfully organised. The supporting video is well-edited and gives all the information you need, plus having 75% of their stuff coming from local producers is a real bonus.”

North East

Farmer Copleys, Pontefract, West Yorkshire

Judges said: “There’s a massive investment in their team and in effect provide a community support officer. They try and create something new, not always following others.”

Northern Ireland

Cunningham Butchers & Food Hall, Kilkeel, County Down

Judges said: “For a hundred-year-old business, this one seems incredibly youthful and it’s apparent that the fourth generation who are now at the helm, continue to steer this business into new and rewarding uncharted waters.”

Wales

The Little Cheesemonger, Rhid-llanRhuddlan, Denbyshire

Judges said: “A small but impressive operation with the owner taking her wares out to the community, particularly with popular school visits.  Her cheese, wedding cakes and sharing platters are really paying off and she even has vegan cheese options.”

Retailer of the Year

The Courtyard Dairy, North Yorkshire


  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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