Now in their fifth year, the Farm Shop & Deli Show Awards celebrate the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement and the awards were announced at a ceremony at the NEC in Birmingham, which was hosted by food journalist and broadcaster Nigel Barden on Monday.
Rupert and Emma found themselves up against a host of the country’s best-known farm shops, including Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop in Bakewell and Becketts Farm in Wythall, but won its category after impressing a panel of mystery judges who visited Denstone on Shrove Tuesday.
Emma said: “I was shocked when I found out that we had been mystery shopped by the judges. When they arrived we were so busy, there were no tables available in the café and they had to wait before we could seat them.
“Once the judges had revealed themselves they said how much they had enjoyed the busy environment which had a real buzz about it. They really liked all our homemade produce, which we bake on site, and complemented our butchers on their great-looking displays.”
In making their decision, the judges said: “As a business Denstone Hall source and create great food in a stimulating and inspiring environment.
“They do this by supporting their staff with knowledge and training while working with local food producers in the community, sourcing great produce through sustainable food practices.
“It’s a great success story so far, with much more to come, and its investment in staff, products and store environment seems to be paying off.”