As the next project in our annual Food & Drink Awards, we will be revisiting Chiltern farm shops. Much has changed since we chose farm shops as our very first award in 2013, with some of the original businesses going from strength to strength, a few disappearing and many new ones opening.
When we first launched the annual Food & Drink Award six years ago, farm shops were a relatively new phenomenon. Of course many farms might have a handwritten sign at their gate offering eggs and milk for sale, but the lavish farm shops we are accustomed to these days were quite a novelty. Typically the owners can showcase their own produce such as meat, seasonal fruit and vegetables, a range of organic foods, beautiful breads sourced from a local baker and locally made jams and chutneys.
Many shops have now turned themselves into an attraction in their own right by installing a café and introducing a range of gift items to the shop, even in some cases play areas for families. Some are running successful food-related events. Best of all, their customers have the satisfaction of knowing they are supporting a local Chilterns enterprise.
This is a really positive development in allowing farmers to diversify their business, whilst offering a welcome addition to the range of leisure shopping opportunities for local people.
We would love you to tell us about any farm shops you like to visit with a few words to say about why this is your favourite farm shop and what products you like to buy there. Please submit your entries by email here.
The closing date for entries is June 16th. We look forward to receiving your nominations!