Cedar Barn Farm Shop in Pickering, North Yorkshire, has been chosen as a finalist in two categories of the Farm Retail Awards from the National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association (FARMA). The farm shop has been selected from over 80 entries to compete against other farm retail finalists across the UK for the title of Best New Farm Shop and Best on-farm cafe. The winner will be announced on 26 January 2010 at Farm & More, the farm retail sector’s national conference.
Cedar Barn Farm Shop is the vision of Karl and Mandy Avison. Long-time pick-your-own farmers, they opened the farm shop in 2007 to provide customers with access to a whole range of owngrown and locally sourced products. The new build-farm shop, clad with cedar wood, is surrounded by a landscaped herb garden and overlooks the soft fruit fields. Once inside, customers can buy ready picked fruit and vegetables from the farm, or visit the new butchery counter which stocks the Avisons’ Aberdeen Angus beef and Charolais cross lamb (chosen for flavour and succulence) alongside other local meat and poultry. Additional products include homemade cakes, biscuits, pastries and pies and local preserves, bread, cheese and ice-cream.
The popular café offers homemade meals and treats, from soup to roast dinners, and changes seasonally. The Kitchen team have already secured several regional awards, most notably for the use of local produce in the menu, and are constantly innovating. Ready access to the farm’s own meat and fields of seasonal crops inspire dishes like Aberdeen Angus Beef cottage pie, leek and stilton crumble and lamb and vegetable curry.
Mandy Avison said "We are so pleased to be a finalist in the FARMA awards this year. We have worked hard to build our reputation amongst the local community and with visitors alike. We are proud to be regional award winners, and thrilled to now be recognised at a national level in the FARMA awards."
In the stages completed so far, a detailed entry form was submitted followed by FARMA sending in a ’mystery shopper’ to produce a report of both the farm shop and the café-restaurant; in next stage, the farm shop will be visited and assessed by others from the farm retailing sector.
’This is what makes the FARMA Awards unique,’ said Rita Exner, FARMA Secretary. ’A customer’s experience of their farm shop visit is clearly important, but at this stage we are looking for first-class retailing and management skills combined with a passion for own and local produce. Cedar Barn Farm Shop has been recognised as such a retailer, and should be very proud to have reached the national finals in these Awards.’