Okehampton farm shop scoops top retail prize
By tinap | Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 11:00
An Okehampton farm shop which only opened two years ago has won the award for Best Retailer in the Food and Drink Devon Awards 2012.
Ruth and Richard Kelsey, with Richard's father outside Hallwood Farm Shop
Hallwood Farm Shop in Okehampton was named the winner at a special ceremony on Monday, October 8, at the Best Western Tiverton Hotel.
Hallwood Farm is an award-winning 90-acre on the outskirts of the village of Petrockstowe and is run by Richard and Ruth Kelsey.
Two years ago the couple decided to open a shop in Red Lion Yard in Okehampton.
Ruth Kelsey, who manages the shop, said, "In terms of the economic climate, it probably wasn't the best time to open a shop, but we have been doing quite well and we're building up our custom."
Ruth said they were 'overjoyed' to win the award.
"It's been a really tough growing year because of the weather, so it was a real boost. What was really nice was we were nominated by a mystery shopper who is a regional manager for Waitrose."
Ruth said that in order for retailers to succeed in Okehampton, they needed to have 'a point of difference'.
"We sell a lot of our own produce from the farm and everything else is local to the area. That is what we offer. People come in and they want to know the story behind the food, they want to know where it has come from."
Hallwood Farm Shop stocks home-grown, fresh seasonal vegetables and salads, other local produce and some fine fare from further afield. The shop also sells cheeses, cream, apple juices, honey, eggs, jams and pickles and more, all from local artisan food producers. Vegetable boxes are also delivered throughout the area and can be ordered via email.