FSD Retailer winner Lovingly Artisan

Source: William Reed

From left: chairman of judges Nigel Barden, Fieldfare MD Matt Whelan, Aidan Monks from Lovingly Artisan Bakery, James Cunningham of Cunningham Butchers & Food Hall

Cumbria’s Lovingly Artisan Bakery has been named Retailer of the Year at the Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards 2024.

The Kendal bakery scooped the top title in this year’s awards after also being declared Baker of the Year and North England regional winner.

Run by Aidan Monks and his wife Catherine Connor, Lovingly Artisan Bakery specialises in sourdough loaves using traditional slow fermentation methods and organic British flours.

Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards judges praised Lovingly Artisan Bakery for its innovative business methods such as the use of a wood chip oven, knowledgeable and passionate staff and “fantastic” turnover.

“The business has a strong brand identity on the website, fabulous subscription boxes and a high following on Instagram,” said one judge, adding that they loved Lovingly Artisan Bakery’s ‘bread truck’ mobile shop that visits local communities.

The Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards, which are championed by Fieldfare and held in partnership with The Grocer, recognise the UK’s standout independent food and drink stores.

A panel of expert judges from across the specialist food and drink industry whittled down hundreds of entries to select 74 finalists that were in the running to be crowned category and regional winners in this year’s awards.

The 11 category winners, seven regional winners, Newcomer of the Year and Retailer of the Year were revealed yesterday (29 April) at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at Birmingham’s NEC. See below for a full list of winners.

“With food and drink retailers being busy people, I’m always delighted they find time to enter the Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards and it’s gratifying to know the awards are held in such high esteem,” said chairman of judges Nigel Barden.

“The quality of our judges certainly helps, particularly as a good number of them are former Retailers of the Year, so right at the top of their game and also because much time is spent visiting our shortlisted entrants.”

The Farm Shop & Deli Show is part of the UK Food & Drink Shows, which is taking place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 29 April to 1 May. Expected to attract more than 25,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors, it combines five shows: Farm Shop & Deli Show, Food & Drink Expo, National Convenience Show, The Forecourt Show and The Restaurant Show.

Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards champion Fieldfare, which supplies frozen food to farm shops, garden centres and independent stores, revealed at the show that it would be extending its support for the awards for another three years.

“It is an honour to be involved in these important awards and to meet so many of the incredibly passionate and dedicated people behind the businesses that entered this year,” said Fieldfare MD Matt Whelan.

“We have been impressed by the exceptionally high quality of the entries and look forward to supporting our industry colleagues by continuing to champion the Farm Shop & Deli Retail Awards again next year, and beyond.”


Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2024 winners

Retailer of the Year, Baker and North England
Lovingly Artisan Bakery, Kendal

Roast Mutton, Kendal

Cheesemonger and South England
Cheese Etc, Reading

Delicatessen and Anglia
The Norfolk Delicatessen, Hunstanton

Farm Shop – Large and Midlands
Welbeck Farm Shop, Worksop

Farm Shop – Small
Sky Park Farm, West Harting

Bells, Carlisle

Food Hall
Macknade Food Hall, Faversham

The Greengrocer Thirsk, Thirsk

Independent Local Shop/Village Store
Bulwick Village Shop/The Pickled Shop, Bulwick, Corby

Online Business
Bay’s Kitchen, Cheltenham

The Cheesy Living Co, Leeds

Northern Ireland
High Street Harvest, Craigavon

Marshall’s Farm Shop, Aberdeen

Forage Farm Shop & Kitchen, Cowbridge