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RECAP: Taste of England award

26th August 2015

Categories: NETA - news

Award: Taste Of England Award 

Winner:  Knitsley Farm Shop, Consett

Are you a fan of homemade, locally sourced products? Knitsley Farm Shop will fill your basket with the best delights in the North East.

It was set up in 2008 and has continued to grow into an amazing award-winning business, offering the best quality products to its customers.

The on-farm butchery retails meat produced on the farm and from other local producers. It is the heart of the business, and the basis for many aspects of the shop and cafe that also work on-site.  All of it together creates a unique combination with a promise of great taste and quality.

Its product range varies from raw meat products to freshly prepared meals in the cafe, which utilise meat and products from the shop.

Why did you enter the North East England Tourism Awards 2014?

We won the Award in 2011 and felt that we had grown and improved sufficiently as a business to enter again, with the hope that we might be lucky enough to win.  However, the other massive benefit we found from these awards the last time around is that it was lovely to be able to take a larger number of staff along to the awards as a thank you to them for their hard work and help them to feel engaged with the process and promote the award to the customers.  We also saw a fantastic response from local customers, with this locally focused award back in 2011 and hoped for the same response.

What did it feel like to win?

It was amazing – we really didn’t think we would win it again as there was strong competition, but there was a fantastic team spirit and response from our table. It was just a bit daunting to then be told that BBC TV was coming the next morning!

What impact has it had on your business?

We had a massive response from the public and saw a particular increase in trade the day after the local news feature went out!  I can honestly say that 3 or 4 minutes on local TV news was the most effective advertising we have ever had (and it was free!).  Naturally some of that initial increase in extra custom died back but we do feel it had a markedly positive effect on the business.

In your opinion, how important are the North East England Tourism Awards?

I think they are very important; they showcase and recognize the enormous offering of quality tourism establishments in the North East and the hard working teams of staff and owners that are fully committed to those businesses and the customers/tourists that they serve.

Why do you think other businesses should apply?

Fantastic opportunity for recognition for the business, opportunities for team building/staff engagement, excuse to get dressed up for a great night out!  Very valuable marketing opportunities within local publications and press.

Will you be entering again this year?

We won’t be entering this year – we have been very fortunate to win many awards over the past six years and sometimes we are conscious that it may appear that we are just trophy hunting for the sake of it.  That is not the case, but we have already been nominated for Café of the Year (with the Sunderland Echo) and also nominated for Fresh Produce Retailer of the Year with the inaugural Northern Independent Retailer Awards in Manchester!  So I think that is enough for this year!

By Karolina Osmak

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