Minskip Farm Shop is named as a 'rising star' at national awards

A North Yorkshire farm shop has been named Rising Star of the Year at the national Farm Retail Association (FRA) awards.

Minskip Farm Shop was named as Rising Star of the Year at the FRA Awards

Minskip Farm Shop, at Borough-bridge, took the accolade at the annual event, which this year took place online.

Judges said the shop, had a “strong customer proposition and retail offer, an outstanding focus on staff development, impressive attention to detail and an extremely well thought out brand”.

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“This is definitely a business to keep an eye on.”

The FRA, which is managed by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, represents farm shops, farmers markets and Pick Your Own growers across the country.

Opened by TV chef Rosemary Shrager, the awards, which cover eight categories, is part of the FRA’s annual industry conference, which this year had the theme, Stronger Together 2021.

Along with Minskip Farm Shop, the big winners were The Farm, a family-run business in Stratford-upon-Avon, which took home two awards for its cafe/restaurant, Nourish, and its farm shop with the Lifetime Achievement Award going to Stuart Beare from Tulleys Farm, West Sussex.

The former FRA chair holds pumpkin festivals and Halloween experiences as well as diversification into Escape Rooms and a Covid-19 drive thru farm retail operation.

FRA chairman Rob Copley, who owns Farmer Copleys Farm Shop in Pontefract, said: “It has taken a superhuman effort by everyone in farm retail over the last 12 months to adapt to very different ways of doing business and serving customers and judging this year’s entries was no mean feat.

“The FRA is proud to represent a sector that is bursting with imagination, full of innovation and most importantly, a real passion for quality British produce.

“All of our winners can take great pride in what they have achieved and they can look to the future with great confidence.”

This year’s five-day conference, which closed on Friday, heard from speakers including David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College, London who explained how farm retailers can stay a step ahead of the supermarkets; John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Foods, who joined Matt Bunch of The Camden Grocer to share their insights into running a “slick deli counter” and consumer specialist Kate Hardcastle was interviewed by Harry Gration.

Rob added: “A huge congratulations to all our winners, they are truly among the very best in the business.”