Bath farm shops prove they are the cream of the crop in prestigious national awards

March 10, 2022

Two farm shops based within a few miles of each other on the outskirts of Bath have been crowned as winners in a national awards scheme that champions the best in the industry.

Flourish Foodhall & Kitchen in Saltford – which opened less than a year ago – triumphed in the Rising Star of the Year category of the Farm Retail Awards while Newton Farm Foods in Newton St Loe landed the title of Small Farm Shop of the Year. 

Family-run Newton Farm Foods was also a finalist in the Café/Restaurant of the Year category.

The prestigious awards, sponsored by specialist retailer COOK, are organised annually by the Farm Retail Association (FRA), which was formed in 1979 to support the industry.

They are unique in being judged by fellow farm retailers to celebrate the best farm shops, farm cafés and restaurants, farmers’ markets and trade suppliers in the country.

Judges were impressed by Flourish’s focus on attention to detail and retail layout, stating that the food hall, restaurant and facilities created an environment that their customers love.

Flourish, which was opened last June by Reading-based wholesaler Cotswold Fayre in former derelict farm buildings on Glenavon Farm, also scored highly for its sustainability and commitment to putting people and planet before profit.

Cotswold Fayre was launched in 1999 as a distribution hub for a few small artisan food and drink producers in the Cotswolds to supply delis and farm shops. In 2019 it became the first wholesaler to gain carbon-neutral status. 

Newton Farm Foods was praised by the judges for its overall customer proposition was well as its retail offer, restaurant and events. 

They also commended its focus on local products and the way it inspired customers through displays as well as delivering a high level of customer service.

The farm is run by the third and fourth generations of the Gay family as tenants of the Duchy of Cornwall. 

Josh Gay is gradually taking on the day-to-day running of the farm, working alongside his father Hugh, while daughter Kirsty, having established the Farmshop cafe, now focuses on social media, operations, events and hospitality support.

Hartley Farm Shop in Bradford on Avon was a finalist in Large Farm Shop of the Year category at the awards, which were presented at a ceremony in Newcastle.

FRA chairman Rupert Evans said: “Our winners can be proud of what they have achieved, particularly in the challenging climate of the last 12 months. Congratulations to all of our winners – you truly are some of the best in the business.”

Pictured below, the Flourish Foodhall & Kitchen team with their Rising Star of the Year award. From left: Sam Riddlington, Paul Hargreaves, Euan McCall, Marina Abraham and Paul Castle


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