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January 12, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

BBC Food & Farming Awards – please vote for Apley Farm Shop !

Food & Farming logo 4The Radio 4 BBC Food & Farming Awards gives everyone the chance to vote for their local food heros – anyone promoting good British food & farming.

We’d love you to click HERE to vote for Apley Farm Shop please, in the best food retailer category. The awards were launched on Sunday by one of my food heros, Yotam Ottolenghi. We have only got 2 weeks as entries close Sun 24 Jan.

It’ll first ask for our address which is: Apley Farm Shop, Norton, Shropshire, TF11 9EF, 01952 730 345

There are only 2 questions, the first being: “What does this retailer offer? Describe the range, quality and price of the food on offer.”

In no way do I want to put words into anyone’s mouth, but here are some key pointers.

Apley Farm Shop’s middle name is local. It sells local food made by local producers to local people. The shop incorporates a butcher, delicatessen, baker, fruit & vegetables (some from Apley Walled Garden). The Creamery Cafe uses local ingredients from the farm shop to create healthy meals.  Restaurant critic AA Gill generously cited it as one of the top 3 farm shop cafes in the UK in 2014. Pigg’s Playbarn is a clean, indoor play space for children aged approx. 0-11. Our courtyard shopping includes a plant centre, animal park & donkeys, florist & gift shop & a toy shop. As a whole, Apley has been listed in the UK’s top 10 destination farm shops.

The second question is: “Why is this food retailer outstanding? What marks this shop out from others and what has been the impact on the surrounding area?”

We bring customers as close as possible to the source of their food, by being local & seasonal. We support the local economy in 3 ways – We provide customers with essential food locally, thereby reducing their food miles; We support local families by employing 35 local people of all ages; We buy in fresh produce from local producers supporting the local economy. We have our own range of branded products & make some products ourselves onsite. Overall, we think we offer a totally different & fresh approach to shopping. We’re friendly & personal, knowing many of our customers by name & even their tastes. We run regular events throughout the year, attracting new customers to Taste, Discover, Enjoy. We’ve just launched our online DeliShop, giving flexibility to busy customers & those living further away. Most of all, together, we think we make a great TEAM !

There are other categories – best food market, best food producer (eg. Mr Moyden’s handmade cheese), best street food, future food awards (eg. ClicBox, the creators of our online DeliShop), best drinks producer, farming heros (eg. Phil Allen, Head Gardener of Apley Walled Garden), cook of the year & the Lifetime Achievement Award. This last category is for an individual or organisation whose “work has brought about real change in our relationship with food. [Someone who has] made a real difference to our knowledge and appreciation of good food.”

As you can see, my choices naturally include members of our Apley Farm Shop staff & some of our wonderful producers. I wish I could name them all here, as they’re all equally wonderful in different ways. All over the UK, there are dozens of amazing people out there promoting wonderful British food & farming every day, so the choice is hard ! Just for Apley Farm Shop to be entering the awards this year would be wonderful.

So please forward this to all your family & friends & ask them to also vote for Apley Farm Shop or any member of its staff. Our wonderful staff deserve it ! Thank you !

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