Success for Eggington and Stanbridge companies at Rural Business Awards

Two businesses in LBO land have come away with honours at the East region heats of the UK-wide Rural Business Awards.

Friday, 16th November 2018, 1:14 pm
Updated Friday, 16th November 2018, 1:16 pm
Pecks co-owner Fiona Peck

Pecks Farm Shop, of Eggington, won Best Rural Retail Business, while The Willow Tree Distilling Company Ltd, of Stanbridge, came runner-up for Best Rural Drink Business.

They were handed their awards at a glittering ceremony held Trinity Park, Ipswich and Pecks Farm Shop will now go on to represent the region at the national final in February 2019.

The Willow Tree Distilling Company joint owner Mary Vincent

Pecks Farm Shop was started 15 years ago when it was no longer viable for the family owners to continue milking cows.

They still have a follower herd and deliver milk to the doorsteps of over 20 villages providing a vital service for people in remote areas.

They deliver fruit and veg and anything else to the doorstep, as part of the service! Judges recognised that Pecks Farm Shop is an amazing combination of local fruit and veg, artisan breads, chutneys, jams, delicious cakes, scones, sweeties and English wine and local beer. There’s even a Gin Temple dedicated to local artisan gins.

Partner at Pecks Farm Shop, Fiona Peck, said: “Today, Pecks Farm Shop provides a vital service for people in remote areas, and celebrates local, seasonal food. We are passionate about supporting other local businesses, and so are excited to be a part of the Rural Business Awards, and to have the chance to meet so many excellent businesses from across the region.

“We are honoured to receive the Best Rural Retail Business Award, it is a testament to the hard work of our staff and we can’t wait to celebrate this success with them.”

Willow Tree Distilling Company founder, Mary Vincent, said: “Established in 2016, Willow Tree Distilling is run by a small, but passionate team inspired by nature to bring you a uniquely blended botanical gin. We use a unique combination of 12 botanicals including freshly picked herbs from the family farm.

“Our process of selectively smoking botanicals gives Willow Tree Gin its distinctive flavour. We are thrilled receive this recognition from the Rural Business Awards so early in our journey, and are inspired for the year ahead.”

Now in its fourth year, the Rural Business Awards is the only UK-wide programme dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses. It is run in partnership with Amazon.

“Rural communities are home to some of the country’s most inventive and innovative entrepreneurs and we want to celebrate their achievements and contribution through the Rural Business Awards,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager at Amazon. “I’d like to congratulate all the nominees and runners-up at this year’s regional awards and wish the winners the best of luck ahead of the national final of the Rural Business Awards in February.”

The Amazon Rural Business Awards is the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain – a sector of the economy they felt was all-too-often overlooked in favour of large, city-based firms.

The awards are organised by rural business for rural business, with winners in the 13 categories - ranging from Best Rural Start-up and Outstanding Rural Diversification Project; through to Best Rural Professional Services Business and Rural Education or Training Business - decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies, and rural charitable organisations. The East region awards are sponsored by Openreach and Avantigas.

For the first time since launching, this year the Rural Business Awards is hosting a series of regional finals in the North, East, Midlands, South East, South West, Wales and Northern Ireland, throughout October 2018, ahead of the Grand Final next February.

Awards co-founder Jemma Clifford said: “Anna and I are so proud to be hosting the fourth annual Rural Business Awards together with Amazon.

“When we started the awards we wanted to shine a much-needed light on successful rural firms but the success of the RBAs is beyond what we ever imagined. We were blown away with the diversity of our entries this year so winning a prize is an extraordinary achievement – hearty congratulations to both winners from Bedfordshire.”

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