Northern baker named the UK’s best for the second year running

The winners of this year’s Farm Shop & Deli Show were announced via live video feed on YouTube yesterday afternoon (Monday 30th March).

The ceremony was broadcast via social media, following the postponement of the flagship Farm Shop & Deli Show due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Host Nigel Barden paid tribute to the ‘phenomenally high’ quality of finalists, adding: “not only do they patently care about their customers, but the sense of community they’ve exhibited, particularly recently, shows how fortunate we are to have such remarkable artisan food retailers, in our midst.”

Northern bakers Lovingly Artisan, with two bakeries located at Plumgarth’s in the Lake District and Altrincham in Manchester, was awarded the title of national Baker of the Year for the second year running, beating off stiff competition from Ashbourne Bake House, Derbyshire, Baker Tom’s Bread, Cornwall and Mayfield Farm Bakery, Essex.

Spanning 11 categories, as well as a coveted ‘Newcomer of the Year’ gong, the awards, held in partnership with The Grocer, are designed to recognise the very best standards in speciality retail and celebrate the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement.

In uncovering the eventual winners, broadcaster, journalist and judges’ chair Nigel, was joined by an expert panel; including food writer and co-chair Elaine Lemm, Deputy Editor at British Baker, Amy North, Owner of Wellgate Fisheries and President of the National Federation of Fishmongers, Giles Shaw, Fresh Foods Reporter at The Grocer, Henry Sandercock and Richard Nicholson from Cannon Hall Farm Shop – 2019’s Retailer of the Year award winners.

Nigel Barden, Chairman of Judges, Food and Drink Journalist and Broadcaster, said: “From a fantastic collection of speciality retailer finalists, dedicated to artisan quality, service and the communities they serve, we now have the very best of the best! What a fabulous group of winners they are; shining beacons in their respective fields – truly 2020’s finest!”

The Judges commended Lovingly Artisan on their win by stating: “They illustrate a great passion for hand-crafted breads and really take into consideration the health aspects of their ingredients. They have an excellent synergy with local suppliers and are investing in a new retail & education hub, but although expanding, they’re careful not to lose sight of their beginnings.”

Commenting on their win husband and wife Aidan Monks and Catherine Connor, owners and bakers at Lovingly Artisan, said: ‘’We are all faced with huge challenges at the moment and as a business like so many others we are trying to adapt to an changing market place. Awards like this mean the world, but under the circumstances they mean even more. This has given us all a real lift and will help us to soldier on and continue to deliver nutritious and healthy artisan baked breads to our customers.’’

Details of the 2020 Farm Shop & Deli Award category winners and regional winners can be founded at www.farmshopanddelishow.co.uk/2020-winners

The award broadcast can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/jpgWZ6n3G1s

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