A LOCAL farm shop that has been open less than four years is in line for two prestigious awards.

Hutchinson Hobbs Farm Shop, in Yarm, has been announced as a ‘Small Farm Shop of the Year’ finalist by the Farm Retail Association (FARMA), in their annual awards, celebrating the best farm shops, farm cafés and restaurants, farmers’ markets, Pick Your Own farms and trade suppliers.

They now go forward to the second round which includes a secret shopper visit and a visit from the judging panel to determine the overall winner, which will be announced in February.

Of the FARMA award, Jenny Hutchinson, the farm shop manager, said: “We are so pleased to have got this far, and want to thank our loyal customers for their continued support. This is a great honour as the judges look at farm shops nationwide, so to be shortlisted is amazing!”

David Leon, from the Farm Retail Association, said: “The judges had a difficult job and Hutchinson Hobbs farm shop should be justly proud to be named as one of the finalists.”

They have also been nominated in the Countryside Alliance ‘Rural Oscars’ Awards, in both the ‘Food & Drink’ and the ‘Butchers’ categories, and are encouraging customers to add their nominations online before the closing date of December 9.

The Countryside Alliance annual awards celebrate British food and farming, enterprise and heritage, through small, hard-working businesses. They differ from other award schemes as they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to say why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim.

Countryside Alliance Awards Director Sarah Lee commented: “These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty in the countryside. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition, so please get involved and nominate today.”

Jenny says: “We are a family run business that always tries to support our local community and local schools, so to be made finalist for a national award, and nominated for a ‘Rural Oscar’ by our customers means a lot to us. The judges love to hear why our customers like shopping at Hutchinson Hobbs, and why they think we deserve this award, so we’re asking our customers to please feel free to write a short paragraph about us and our wonderful staff.”

To vote, go online here before December 9 to vote for Hutchinson Hobbs.

It is a true family business with a farming background. Barry Hutchinson and his dad, Alan, deal with the buying and butchering of the meat – all locally sourced and straight from farm to shop. Barry’s wife, Jenny – née Hobbs - and Alan’s wife, Anita both work in the farm shop, with Anita also dealing with the HR side of the business. The business continues to go from strength to strength and now employs nine full-time and seven part-time staff.  They are gearing up for a busy Christmas so get your Christmas meat orders in today!


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