Suffolk Food Hall among regional winners in Countryside Alliance Awards
A RETAIL showcase for local food and drink, based just outside Ipswich, is among the winners in the East of England round of the Countryside Alliance Awards.
The Suffolk Food Hall, at Wherstead, took top regional honours in the Local Food category, and will now go forward with three other winners from the region to the national finals next month.
It was launched in 2007 by cousins Oliver and Robert Paul, and its offer includes fruit and vegetables, a butcher, a delicatessen, a wet fish counter, a baker, beers and wines, and mix of specialist foods and food cupboard stables.
William Burton, regional director for the Countryside Alliance, said the Suffolk Food Hall “ticks all the boxes in some style”.
“All the produce is sourced from as near to the enterprise as possible,” he said. “The beef on the meat counter even had a ticket attached so that each item could be traced to an individual animal.
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“The enterprise was very impressive, especially as it has only been in existence for four years, and the list of awards that they have already received tells the story.”
There was also recognition for Marybelle Dairy, based at Walpole, near Halesworth, which was highly commended in the Enterprise category, won by the Cholmeley Arms pub and farm shop in Burton-le-Coggles, Lincolnshire.
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The Village Shop category was won by the Kings Walden Post Office and Stores, near Hitchin in Hertfordshire, and the Butcher award went to Woburn Country Foods, of Haynes West End, Bedfordshire, with M & M Rutland Butchers of Melton Constable, Norfolk, highly commended.
The Countryside Alliance Awards, now in their seventh year, celebrate the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise found in rural communities and are based on public-led nominations followed by judging by an expert panel. The national winners will be announced at a Grand Final to held at the Houses of Parliament on March 7.