A POPULAR farm shop in Harborough savoured a special moment among the stars of a glitzy ‘Rural Oscars’ event in London.
The grand final of the prestigious Countryside Alliance Awards was held in the House of Lords.
The event turned the spotlight on those who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure rural communities and businesses thrive.
And Harborough’s Farndon Fields Farm Shop was among those taking centre stage.
It was unable to add an overall national title to its previously-secured regional crown but was still delighted to have been part of the occasion.
Marketing manager Nicola Stokes said: “It was still a great day.
“We were pleased just to be at the grand final as Midlands winners in the local food category because these are important awards based on customer nominations.”
Harborough MP Edward Garnier was on hand to congratulate Kevin and Milly Stokes, owners at Farndon Fields.
The Countryside Alliance’s new chief executive, Sir Barney White-Spunner, praised all the regional and national winners and said how much he had enjoyed tasting the farm and shop produce from all parts of the British Isles.
Mr Garnier was particularly delighted to see his constituency shop do so well in a tough competition.
He said: “Unquestionably the Stokeses have grown a superb family-run business in Market Harborough, making good use of their local knowledge and locally sourced produce, be it meat, vegetables or cakes and ales.
“Some they grow on their own farm and some they get from other Leicestershire and Northamptonshire suppliers. I cannot recommend the Farndon Fields Farm Shop too highly but you do not have to take my word for it: just ask the judges who made the awards. They could see, taste and smell quality. I agree with them and wish Mr and Mrs Stokes every success in the future.”
It’s not the first time Farndon Fields Farm Shop has scooped a top award.
In 2008 it won a National Food Retailer Prize in awards run by the Farmers’ Retails and Markets Association.