A local farm shop has been highly commended for a prestigious food award, known in the industry as the "Rural Oscars". 

Knitsley Farm Shop is a family business located in Consett, County Durham. In February, they were shortlisted for the Countryside Alliance's Local food awards, making it through to the regional finals. 

Earlier this month, the farm shop went up against other venues in the North of England in a public vote to try to win "the definitive rural business award".

With "good quality local food" at the core of its ethos, the farm shop has garnered a set of loyal customers that swear by shop produce and cafe grub - earning Knitsley the "highly commended" title in this year's competition. 

Read more: Knitsley farm shop, Consett, shortlisted for 'Rural Oscar' award

The Northern Echo: Their generous and delicious full English breakfast is a fan favourite at Knitsley Farm Shop.Their generous and delicious full English breakfast is a fan favourite at Knitsley Farm Shop. (Image: Richard Holden)

Over 40,000 votes were cast this year, meaning that the Consett business's success is a testament to its widespread popularity within the County Durham community. 

The farm shop had their food deemed "the best in the country" by voters, an accolade that the family-run business is "immeasurably proud" of - especially given that the Countryside Alliance had 17,000 nominations this year.

The farm shop thanked all of their customers for their support during the vote: "Huge thank you to everyone that took the time to not only nominate us but also vote for us in this year's Countryside Alliance Awards! 

"Sadly, this year we did not win our category but came Highly Commended, of which we are immeasurably proud. 

"Producing our own homemade goods and having the platform to showcase the products of other local makers will always be something we value deeply. 

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"Here at Knitsley we are all deeply committed to ensuring great quality, local food is accessible to all. 

"Thank you to our wonderful staff and loyal customers for enabling us to continue doing so."

Richard Holden, the MP for North West Durham, has been an ardent supporter of the farm shop. 

The Northern Echo: Rachel Jewson (Owner) and Richard Holden MP inside Knitsley Farm Shop.Rachel Jewson (Owner) and Richard Holden MP inside Knitsley Farm Shop. (Image: PR)

He said: "Every time I go I’m blown away by the quality of the produce, both in the shop, the cafe and in the butchers. 

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"It is so important to support local businesses, but having places like Knitsley Farm Shop on my doorstep makes it so easy.

"Thanks so much to Rachel, Edward and the family for their hard work down in Knitsley. It’s because of the efforts of good people like the Jewsons that our area is so special. I’m so glad that they have received the recognition they deserve.

“North West Durham is the country’s best-kept secret. 

"Our local towns and villages are packed full of fabulous pubs and cafes that should receive more recognition like this for all the outstanding work they do every day.”