Taste of victory for farm shop

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A FARM shop is celebrating winning a prestigious national award for its on-site café, having seen off competitors from all over the country.

The Cedar Barn Farm Shop and Café, near Pickering, has been awarded Best On-Farm Café/Restaurant in the National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association (FARMA) awards for 2011.

Cedar Barn triumphed in the face of some stiff competition, including the famous Daylesford Organic Farm Shop in Gloucestershire.

The trophy was presented at a ceremony in the Bournemouth Pavilion, which took part during the Farm & More 2011 farm diversification event last month.

The FARMA judges praised Cedar Barn’s café for the “top-quality home-grown food on offer, served by friendly staff in a stunning setting with spectacular views across the farm.”

The FARMA accolade is the latest in a string of awards won by Cedar Barn since it opened in 2007, including Best Use Of Regional Produce in a Café/Tearoom and the Fresh Produce category in the deliciouslyorkshire awards.

Cedar Barn has also previously been a regional finalist in the HSBC Start-Up Stars competition.

Karl Avison, of Cedar Barn, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won another award, especially one that is so fiercely contested.

‘‘Our business has grown out of our love for food and farming, but we also pride ourselves on offering an important community service, so it’s great to achieve national recognition for the hard work of all our staff.”

Cedar Barn is run by Karl and his wife Mandy.

After inheriting his father’s farm, Karl realised that he would find it difficult to make a living out of traditional farming, so set about finding ways to diversify and create extra revenue – this has included holiday accommodation, pick-your-own soft fruits, cultivating asparagus and sales to the public of Aberdeen Angus beef.

The Avisons decided the best way to create a sustainable business would be to open their own farm shop. The Cedar Barn Farm Shop and Café opened in 2007 and is housed in an eco-friendly cedar-clad building designed by Karl himself. Future plans include the building of an on-site bakery and the establishment of an online shop. The farm now employs 22 local people.

Mandy Avison said: “We are completely passionate about farming and food production.’’