Ardross Farm Shop has done it again by winning high praise and a top title.
The family-run business has been named Retailer of the Year 2014 in the Farm Shop and Deli Awards, beating off competition from 300 other retailers throughout the UK.
Manager Nikki Storrar said: “To have been announced as the overall winner is just the most wonderful feeling – especially knowing that the decision was driven by customer votes and finally selected by a panel of some of the UK’s top foodies.
“We were so thrilled to have been selected in both the category and regional judging stages, and are absolutely overwhelmed to have been chosen as the overall winner.
”We’d like to thank our team at the shop for their ongoing hard work, making this accolade all the more meaningful.”
Recognising the very best standards in speciality retail and celebrating the highest levels of service, product knowledge, innovation and community involvement, the robust judging process was managed by a panel of food industry experts including food critic, journalist and broadcaster Nigel Barden; acclaimed food and drink writer, chef and former restaurateur Elaine Lemm; Michelin-trained restaurateur and head of product development at Morrisons, Neil Nugent; television cook and Celebrity Masterchef winner Lisa Faulkner; Michelin-star winning head chef Tom Aikens, and Great British Bake Off winner Ed Kimber.
Nigel Barden said: “The quality of the outlets we’ve seen only serves to highlight just how outstanding Ardross Farm Shop is.
“From a collection of brilliant butchers, cheesemongers, greengrocers, markets and delicatessens, Ardross has managed to combine so many elements – community spirit, specialist knowledge and magnificent produce – to represent a gold standard in the retail arena.”
Elaine Lemm said: “What makes Ardross Farm Shop very special is the combination of things that they do so brilliantly, from using traditional, highly sustainable farming methods and maintaining exceptional welfare standards for their cattle, to customer service where it isn’t unusual to pop out to the farm to cut another fresh cabbage especially for someone.”
Having previously worked with mainstream retailers selling their traditionally reared beef, the shop, launched in 2005 from a single chest freezer, was born out of a need to diversify.
With Fiona and Rob Pollock and daughter Nikki at the helm, the trio looked to sell their meat and then vegetables directly to the public from the farm between Elie and St Monans.
The shop now employs 22 people and offers more than 40 different seasonal fruits and vegetables, many of which are grown and picked each morning from the farm – anything left over is fed to the cattle so nothing is wasted.