Darts Farm crowned best UK farm shop
PUBLISHED: 13:00 03 April 2015
Darts Farm were revealed as the UK’s number one farm shop, winning ‘Large Farm Shop of the Year’ at a glittery ceremony at the National FARMA Awards on Tuesday night. Despite stiff competition from leading farm shops across the country, including Hampshire’s Newlyn’s Farm and The Welbeck Farm Shop in Nottinghamshire, the Topsham based shopping village gleaned another accolade to add its growing collection.
The FARMA Awards are a real highlight of the foodie calendar, as the ultimate honour in the British farm shops industry. Finalists were judged by a panel of farm retail experts over a notoriously rigorous six month process involving written applications, multi-media presentations, secret shopping and a series of shop visits.
On winning the award Michael Dart said “we are thrilled to win such a prestigious award and to gain recognition for all the hard work our team put into the business day-in day-out”. He added ‘we would like to thank our loyal customers and all the fantastic producers who have supported us over the years”.
When asked what is key to making a business so successful, Michael responded “you have to keep the values of the business at the core of all your business decisions. Our values have not changed since my father, Ronald Dart, starting the business more than 40 years ago. We are passionate about supporting a thriving local, farming community and believe in offering the best locally sourced and artisan products to our customers”.
The timing of the award was particularly poignant following the sad news last week of the death of Enid Dart, Darts Farm co-founder and mother to Paul, Michael and James Dart. Enid was instrumental in the growth of Darts Farm and is fondly remembered by staff and customers alike. Michael commented “winning this national award has been a fitting tribute to the memory of our mother”.
The FARMA conference was a double celebration for Darts Farm as their Master Butcher, Alastair David, also clinched victory in the FARMA Retail Butchery and Display Competition the following day after a live butchery stand off to test the skill and innovation of the cream of UK butchers. When asked what the award meant to him, Alastair said “I am amazed and very privileged”. He added “the competition was very strong with some of the best butchers in the country so it was a really fantastic experience”.