Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2018 winners revealed after stiff competition

Edge & Son in Birkenhead, Wirral, has won the jackpot scooping the coveted title of Retailer of the Year at Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2018, as well as the Butcher of the Year and North West regional winner accolades.
Retailer of Year Edge and Son
Winners Edge & Son collecting Retailer of the Year award from Nigel Barden, Chair of Judges, Victoria Robertshaw, last years winner, and Adam Leyland, Editor, The Grocer
17 APRIL 2018 – Edge & Son in Birkenhead, the Wirral, has beaten competition from over 200 registrations across the UK to be named Retailer of the Year at Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2018.
The acclaimed butcher also scooped Butcher of the Year and the gong for North West regional winner at the awards ceremony last night at the annual Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC. Following over 5,000 consumer votes, the awards saw 13 category winners and nine regional winners revealed after a rigorous judging process for the awards’ fifth year.
The coveted accolades celebrate the best specialist independent retailers in the UK, with judges looking for the most impressive levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement.
The judges praised the outlet highly, with comments ranging from a respect for the highly ambitious management and innovative plans for the future, to its traditional and native yet rare product stock and its commitment to sustainability. The judges said: “A lot of butchers could learn a thing or two from Edge & Son. I love their dedication to 'nose to tail' eating as well as the education of staff and customers.” Another judge complimented the retailer’s “substantial growth, dynamic work in joining the local food hall and its integral service to the community”.
Edge & Son’s customers were equally effusive in their tributes to the family-run practice, with locals citing the exceptional quality of its produce, high food standards and transparency in provenance, as well as its helpful, knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Also worthy of praise is The Goring Grocer in Reading, Berkshire, which took three awards home after scooping Newcomer of the Year, Delicatessen of the Year and South East regional winner.
The North West dominated this year’s awards with four winners from the region. As well as Edge & Son, the other lucky three were Filbert’s Bakery in Lancaster, which won Baker of the Year; Fishmonger of the Year Fyne Fish in Cockermouth, Cumbria; and The Courtyard Dairy in Austwick, North Yorkshire, which took home the prize for Cheesemonger of the Year.
Other regions that saw double wins include the Midlands with Farm Shop Large Retailer of the year and the regional award going to Denstone Hall Farm Shop & Café near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire and North East with Online Business of the Year and regional award going to Farmison & Co, Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Judging process

The winners were chosen by a group of esteemed speciality retail, fine food and food media experts who came together to whittle the high calibre, high volume entries down. BBC Radio Two presenter and food aficionado Nigel Barden again stepped in as Chair of judges, joined by Co Chair Elaine Lemm; Ashleigh-Kate O’Mahony, Food Trends Reporter, The Grocer; and John Gill, Head of Commercial Operations & Buyer at Booths.
Paper judging produced a shortlist of the best, some of which then underwent mystery guest testing as the judges took to the road to observe what was on offer at venues across the country. Looking for staff knowledge, enthusiasm and service, a second-to-none product offer, professionalism and an integrated stalwart of their respective communities, they were left with the tough job of picking the winners of this increasingly prestigious awards for 2018. After weeks of on-the-ground judging, the victorious were chosen for both the category awards and the best in each of nine UK regions.
Nigel Barden, Chairman of Judges and Food and Drink Journalist and Broadcaster, says: “Many miles have been covered in search of the finest food and drink retailers in the UK.  There are some truly talented, imaginative and passionate food purveyors within our shores, who we should celebrate and support.  The Farm Shop & Deli Awards provides the perfect platform for bringing them to our attention, including those selling their wares solely online.”
Elaine Lemm, highly respected food writer, classically trained chef, teacher and ex-restaurateur, says: “In a time of decline of butchers around the UK, Edge & Sons, a fifth-generation butchers founded in 1844, bucks that trend. The original shop in New Ferry in Wirral is in an area of economic decline, yet this family-run traditional butchers shop still thrives and they now have a second, hugely successful outlet in the award-winning Delifonseca on Dockside in Liverpool.
“Their success and longevity are born from the respect they show to animals, the land, farmers and their customers. They buy only free-range, local rare or traditionally bred stock sourced from farms within 25 miles of the shop, with beef and lamb slaughtered on the premises at New Ferry.  Their regard for the environment means they have ditched the use of plastic, preferring to wrap the meat in paper, and polystyrene trays replaced with bamboo. Neither does their caring ethos stop at the meat counter; they work closely with local schools helping pupils to connect with food.”

Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2018 – full list of category winners and commended entrants:

Baker of the Year
Winner: Filbert’s Bakery (Lancaster)
Commended: Bondgate Bakery (Otley) / Hambleton Bakery (Oakham) / Hobbs House Bakery (Tetbury) / Jervaulx Abbey Tearooms (Ripon)
Butcher of the Year and North West winner
Winner: Edge & Son (Birkenhead)
Commended: Cunninghams Butchers and Food Hall (Kilkeel) / Low Howgill Butchers & Deli (Appleby-in-Westmorland)
Cheesemonger of the Year
Winner: The Courtyard Dairy (Austwick)
Commended: Love Cheese (York) / Paxton & Whitfield (Chelsea Green, London)
Delicatessen of the Year and South East winner
Winner: The Goring Grocer (Reading)
Commended: Chandos Deli (Bristol) / No2 Pound Street (Wendover) / The Hungry Guest (Petworth) / The Norfolk Deli (Hunstanton) / Thornham Deli (Hunstanton)
FarmShop – Large Retailer of the Year and Midlands winner
Winner: Denstone Hall Farm Shop & Café (Nr Uttoxeter)
Commended: Becketts Farm (Wythall) / Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop (Bakewell) / Farmer Copleys Ltd (Pontefract) / Mainsgill Farmshop (Richmond) / The Udder Farm Shop (East Stour)
FarmShop – Small Retailer of the Year
Winner: Welbeck Farm Shop (Worksop)
Commended: Blair Drummond Smiddy Farm Shop (Stirling) / Cedarbarn Farm Shop (Pickering) / Etherington's Farm Shop (Redruth) / Fordhall Organic Farm (Market Drayton) / Rhug Farm Shop (Corwen) / The Gog Farm Shop (Cambridge) / The Lambing Shed Farm Shop and Café (Knutsford) / Three Trees Farm Shop & Cafe (Swindon) / Waterloo Cottage Farm (Great Oxendon)
Fishmonger of the Year
Winner: Fyne Fish Ltd (Cockermouth)
Commended: Dabs 'n' Crabs (Great Yarmouth) / Latimers Seafood Ltd (Sunderland) / The Fresh Fish Shop Ltd (Haywards Heath)
Foodhall of the Year
Winner: Webbs (Driotwich Spa)
Commended: Delifonseca Dockside (Liverpool) / Fodder (Harrogate) / Great Cornish Food Store (Truro)/ Ludlow Food Centre (Ludlow)
Greengrocer of the Year
Winner: Rafters (Driffield)
Commended: Oakchurch Farm Shop (Hereford)
Market of the Year
Winner: West Malling Farmers Market (West Malling)
Commended: Lenham Country Market (Lenham) 
Newcomer of the Year
Winner: The Goring Grocer (Reading)
Commended: Blair Drummond Smiddy Farm Shop (Stirling) / Great Cornish Food Store (Truro)/ Love Cheese (York) / Low Howgill Butchers & Deli (Appleby-in-Westmorland) / The Lambing Shed Farm Shop and Café (Knutsford) 
Online Business of the Year and North East winner
Winner: Farmison & Co (Ripon)
Commended: Eat Great Meat Limited (Wortley) / Farmer's Choice Free Range (Fareham)
Village Store / Local Shop of the Year
Winner: FINK (York)
Commended: R Campbell & Son Limited (Leyburn)/ Shropshire's Own (Shrewsbury)

Regional awards also went to:
East Anglia: The Gog Farm Shop, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Northern Ireland: Cunningham Butchery and Food Hall, Kilkeel, Down
Scotland: Blair Drummond Smiddy Farm Shop, Blair Drummond, Stirling
South West: Hobbs House Bakery, Tetbury, South Gloucestershire
Wales: Rhug Farm Shop, Corwen, Denbighshire
Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2019

Back by popular demand for a sixth 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 2019, with entries already open. Further information on the awards and how to register interest to enter, can be found at
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Farm Shop & Deli Show 2019 returns to the NEC from Monday 8th April through to Wednesday 10th April 2019 
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