Wed 12 Mar 14
Family run Ardross Farm Shop near Elie in the East Neuk of Fife has sown the seeds of a great future, by harvesting a bumper crop of prestigious food and farming awards.
They have recently been named Local Food Winner in the Scottish Countryside Alliance Awards.A Reception for Regional winners will see them travelling to London for a prestigious Reception at the House of Lords in April. Not resting on their laurels, the shop was also named Scottish Regional Champion and UK Farm Shop of the Year in the nationwide Farm Shop & Deli Awards.
Now, they are looking forward to travelling to Birmingham’s NEC on 24th March where they and eight other Regional Champions will discover which will win the coveted title of Farm Shop & Deli Awards Retailer of the Year 2014. Judge Richard Ford, Fresh Editor, The Grocer, said “The Farm Shop and Deli Awards recognise specialist retailers who are leading the way in the 21st century. These retailers are the cream of the crop!”
Family run Ardross Farm Shop has grown from small beginnings in an old cart shed, which took a grand total of £23 from two customers on its first day of trading (with which they were delighted!) By concentrating on small, artisan and local producers, and building relationships between the family, their producers and customers, the farm shop now sees an annual turnover of hundreds of thousands of pounds, employs 17 full and part time staff, and stocks over 2500 products.
Nikki Storrar, who manages the shop, says “Everything in the shop has been tasted by our family and staff. If we wouldn’t buy something or don’t like it, then we don’t stock it. We passionately believe in supporting fellow farmers and small producers and we actively seek out new ways to support them. We’re very privileged to live in such a diverse area where local food is really coming to the fore.” A commercial kitchen has been added, satisfying customer demand for delicious, home-produced food, including steak pies, soups, jams, cakes and coulis, and the range is constantly being developed and expanded.
The family are particularly pleased that the title of Farm Shop of the Year 2014 came after customer nominations and comments. The shop was visited by a mystery shopper on behalf of the panel of expert judges, leading retailers and key industry figures.
Customers commented on the selection of local produce, including over 50 varieties vegetables grown on the farm, and the warm welcome which sees every customer greeted with a big smile from helpful, knowledgeable staff. “Our team of family and staff works very hard and these awards make everything worthwhile,” says Nikki. Chair of Judges, Nigel Barden of BBC Radio 2, said “I have travelled the length and breadth of the country from Northern Ireland to Scotland and right down into the deep depths of the South West, visiting large and small independent speciality retailers to identify our ‘Regional Champions’. Ardross Farm Shop are an asset to their Region”.