A family-run farm shop famed for its fresh produce and expansive menu of baked goods has been named the best in the UK.
The Lambing Shed farm shop and cafe in Knutsford was opened six years ago by the Mitchell family, who were on a mission to champion local produce from across Cheshire and Manchester as well as to showcase their farm’s home-reared beef and lamb.
The farm is run by Sue and Michael Mitchell, with son Rob helping on the farming side and daughter Kathryn acting as director of the farm shop and cafe, which was built within an old lambing shed at Moseley Hall Farm, found on the outskirts of Knutsford.
And now, six years on from the launch of their shop and cafe, the family business has been crowned the UK’s Best Farm Cafe/Restaurant at the prestigious Farm Retail Association awards.
The FRA awards are judged by fellow farm retailers, and aims to showcase and celebrate the very best farm shops, cafes, markets and trade suppliers the UK has to offer.
The cafe was praised by the judges for its high quality of food and service, and was hailed as ‘a superb example of a business which understands its customer profile and then delivers a range of food and service to meet their customer’s needs’.
Dishes that stood out to the judges were the cooked Full English Breakfast – with a farmers breakfast and vegetarian version – the hand-reared beef and lamb burgers, and home made beef shin pie.
It was also noted that the farm shop offers a range of sweet treats such as local jams and chutneys, cakes baked by local farmers, afternoon tea sets, scones and cream, Mobberly ice cream and Cheshire gins.
The shop also boasts produce from over seventy-five local suppliers, as well as the butcher’s counter and deli counter with a range of cheeses.
The FRA said of their winners: “Judges noted the high quality of food and service and hailed the Lambing Shed’s cafe as a superb example of a business which understands its customer profile and then delivers a range of food and service to meet their customer’s needs.”
Kathryn, who now lives in the old farmhouse on the site, said on the win: “It’s incredible really, it was amazing just to be nominated but it’s nice for the cafe to get recognition like this.
“When we first opened the cafe and shop it was tough as a new business, as we’d never done anything like this before, and it’s very different from farming, it was just us.
“But now we have a great team here and the shop complements the farm so well. We get all the beef and lamb from the farm, and everything we feed the animals with we grow ourselves here.
“We are passionate about everything we serve in the cafe and shop as well, I’m a real foodie so we don’t get corners, the ingredients are all local, fresh and really high quality.”
Visit the Lambing Shed’s official website for more information.