Cannon Hall Farm Shop in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has beaten competition from across the UK and Northern Ireland to be named Retailer of the Year at Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2019.
Following a comprehensive judging process, the acclaimed farm shop also scooped Farm Shop of the Year – large retailer and the gong for North East regional winner at the awards ceremony last night at the annual Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC. Following nearly 5,500 consumer votes, the awards saw 12 category winners and nine regional winners revealed to an audience comprising fellow finalists as well as show visitors and exhibitors, all there to cheer on the proceedings.
The judges praised the Cannon Hall Farm Shop highly, with comments covering a respect for their digital presence and continued growth in what is a difficult time all round for retail, as well as their involvement in local causes and events. The judges said: “Interesting day to day view of a working farm. Great employer. Good social networking. Beautiful butchery counter with aging display.” Another judge complimented the retailer’s “sheer dynamism and success of what is still at its heart a farm. They measure smiles on faces and bums on seats, love it”.
Cannon Hall Farm Shop’s customers were equally exuberant in their tributes, with locals citing the outstanding quality of produce, welcoming, helpful and knowledgeable staff and excellent variety of local sourced goods all under one roof as winning attributes.
Customer comments include:
“They have a wide variety of products and their butchers counter is products made from their own farm. The staff are so friendly and helpful and it as a real sense of community.”
“Amazing quality produce and super friendly staff. That’s why I visit every week!”
“Fantastic farm shop. The variety of different food is amazing. Wouldn't go anywhere else.”
“It has a fantastic range of local produce and unique food and drink. There is a really good choice of cheese which can also be sampled. Always a pleasant shopping experience.”
Co-chair of judges Elaine Lemm, a highly respected food writer, classically trained chef, teacher and ex-restaurateur, says: “Roger Nicholson took over Cannon Hall Farm at the age of 16 following the untimely death of his father, but in the 1980s, with farming becoming less and less profitable it became clear the farm needed to either diversify or sell. Against the advice of his bank, he headed down the diversification route, and today Cannon Hall is a resounding success. Alongside the farm shop, there are two restaurants plus a dog-friendly café; there are adventure playgrounds; a year-round programme for visiting schools and a new £1.5 million farmyard where visitors can see the day to day workings of a modern farmyard including a milking parlour and a Rare Breeds Barn.
The Nicholson family may have created a thriving commercially prosperous business, but they have never let go of what is still at the heart of this enterprise, their grandfather's farm. With their hugely successful, busy farm shop to supply, they produce 1000 pigs, 900 lambs and over 300 cattle each year.
With awards and plaudits both regionally and nationally, it is no surprise that Cannon Hall and the Nicholson family are recognised as one of the pioneering businesses of this sector and worthy winners of the Farm Shop and Deli Retailer of the Year award.”
Also worthy of praise is Minskip Farm Shop from Boroughbridge in the North East region, who scooped the 2019 Newcomer of the Year award and Village Store/Local Shop of the Year winners Campbell’s of Leyburn from North Yorkshire.
This year both Midlands and North East regions championed the winners with three from each. Midland winners include Broadbean Deli from Ludlow, Battlefield 1403 Farm Shop from Shrewsbury and Online Business of the Year winners World products ltd t/a indianmart based in Leicester.
More about the judging process
A team of over 20 leading experts judged the entries online before coming together last November to deliberate and shortlist the contenders. During January and February secret visits across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales took place before the winners, and overall Retailer of the Year, were decided.
The coveted accolades celebrate the best specialist independent retailers with judges looking for the most impressive levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement.
Nigel Barden, Chairman of Judges and Food and Drink Journalist and Broadcaster, says: “More work than ever goes into the Farm Shop & Deli Awards, including an increased number of visits and more hours spent on the road for our judges. This gives the Awards even more kudos and esteem, as does the experience of our 20 judges who represent all aspects of the food and drink sector. Some of them are previous Retailers of the Year and appreciate how much benefit is gained by winning an award and the amount of work and expertise required to triumph. Winners and finalists get marvelous consumer and trade coverage, including a social media reach of 120,000 and a live announcement of the winners, and those shortlisted, at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC. The show and Awards are organised by William Reed, who have over 150 years of experience to call upon.”
Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2019 – full list of category winners and commended entrants and regional winners:
Baker of the Year
Winner: Lovingly Artisan (Kendal)
Commended: Bondgate Bakery (Otley) / Hobbs House Bakery (Tetbury) / Mayfield Farm Bakery (Harlow)
Butcher of the Year
Winner: Elderslie Butchers (Elderslie)
Commended: Aubrey Allen (Leamington Spa) / Battlefield1403 Butcher (Shrewsbury) / Hugh Black & Sons Butchers Ltd (Bathgate) / Surrey Hills Butchers (Oxshott)
Cheesemonger of the Year
Winner: Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop (Reading)
Commended: The Cheese Lady (Haddington) / The Cheese Shop (Chester) / The Little Cheesemonger (Rhuddlan)
Delicatessen of the Year
Winner: Broad Bean Delicatessen (Ludlow)
Commended: Bayley & Sage (Battersea) / Forest Deli Ltd (Coleford) / Giddy Grocer (London) / Ginger Whale Delicatessen (Cleckheaton) / Guzzl (London) / MacFarlane's Delicatessen (London) / The Bees Country Kitchen (Chorley) / The Olive Tree Deli (Mold) / Thomas of Helmsley (Helmsley)
Farm Shop – Large Retailer of the Year
Winner: Cannon Hall Farm Shop (Barnsley)
Commended: Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop (Bakewell) / Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen (Hungerford) / Newlyns Farm Shop (Hook)
Farm Shop – Small Retailer of the Year
Winner: Battlefield 1403 (Shrewsbury)
Commended: Eggs To Apples Farm Shop (Etchingham) / Minskip Farm Shop (Boroughbridge) / Parc Y Bocs, Burns Farm Shop (Kidwelly) / Tori and Bens Farm (Kings Newton) / Waterperry Farm Shop (Oxford) / Welbeck Farm Shop (Worksop)
Fishmonger of the Year
Winner: Fyne Fish (Cockermouth) Ltd (Cockermouth)
Foodhall of the Year
Winner: Bakers & Larners of Holt (Holt)
Commended: Cunninghams Butchers & Food Hall (Newry) / Delifonseca Dockside (Liverpool) / Shrewsbury Market Hall (Shrewsbury) / Webbs Garden Centre (Droitwich) / Weetons Food Hall (Harrogate)
Greengrocer of the Year
Winner: Andreas of Chelsea Green (London)
Newcomer of the Year
Winner: Minskip Farm Shop (Boroughbridge)
Commended: Bayley & Sage (Battersea) / Broad Bean Delicatessen (Ludlow) / Forest Deli Ltd (Coleford) / Giddy Grocer (London) / Guzzl (London) / The Cheese Lady (Haddington) / The Little Cheesemonger (Rhuddlan) / Waterperry Farm Shop (Oxford)
Online Business of the Year
Winner: World products ltd t/a indianmart (Markfield)
Commended: Farmers Choice Free Range Ltd (Fareham) / Farmison & Co (Ripon) / Milk and More (Aldershot)
Village Store / Local Shop of the Year
Winner: Campbell's of Leyburn (Leyburn)
Commended: FINK (York) / Good Food (Catford) / Helperby Stores Deli & Café (York)
Regional winners were:
East Anglia: Bakers & Larners of Holt (Holt)
Midlands: Battlefield 1403 (Shrewsbury)
North East: Cannon Hall Farm Shop (Barnsley)
North West: Lovingly Artisan (Kendal)
Northern Ireland: Cunninghams Butchers & Food Hall (Newry)
Scotland: Elderslie Butchers (Elderslie)
South East: Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop (Reading)
South West: Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen (Hungerford)
Wales: The Olive Tree Deli (Mold)
Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2020
Back by popular demand for a seventh year of nationwide recognition of the enormous growth and improvement in our farm shops, delis, grocers, butchers and bakeries, Farm Shop & Deli Awards will be back in 2020, with entries opening in July 2019. Further information on the awards and how to register interest to enter, can be found atwww.farmshopanddelishow.co.uk/awards