Cumbrian bakery business Lovingly Artisan has been named baker of the year in the 2019 Farm Shop & Deli Awards.

Founded by Aidan Monks – a finalist in the Baking Industry Awards Baker of the Year category last year – and his wife Catherine Conor, Kendal-based Lovingly Artisan specialises in slow-fermented traditional breads made using sourdough and all-natural ingredients.

Awards judges praised the bakery for its business model, engagement with the community and for sharing skills and knowledge.

“We need good reason to travel to retailers that are not big supermarkets – and Lovingly Artisan is exactly the kind of business I’d both like to support and whose products I’d like to consume,” stated one judge.

Lovingly Artisan also took home the North West regional award at the Farm Shop & Deli Awards ceremony at Birmingham’s NEC on 9 April. The awards are organised by William Reed Business Media, owner of British Baker.

Cannon Hall Farm Shop in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, took the title of Retailer of the Year at the event, as well as the Farm Shop of the Year – large retailer and North East regional winner accolades

Judges praised Cannon Hall for its digital presence and continued growth in a difficult time for retail, as well as its involvement in local causes and events.

“The Nicholson family may have created a thriving commercially prosperous business, but they have never let go of what is still at the heart of this enterprise, their grandfather’s farm,” said Elaine Lemm, co-chair of judges. “With their hugely successful, busy farm shop to supply, they produce 1,000 pigs, 900 lambs and over 300 cattle each year.”

The Farm Shop & Deli Awards are judged online by a team of more than 20 experts – including British Baker editor Vince Bamford – before they come together to deliberate and shortlist the contenders. During January and February, secret visits across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales took place before the winners, and overall Retailer of the Year, were decided.

“Winners and finalists get marvellous consumer and trade coverage, including a social media reach of 120,000 and a live announcement of the winners,” said Nigel Barden, chairman of judges.

Farm Shop & Deli Awards winners 2019

Baker of the Year

  • Winner: Lovingly Artisan (Kendal)
  • Commended: Bondgate Bakery (Otley) / Hobbs House Bakery (Tetbury)  / Mayfield Farm Bakery (Harlow)

Butcher of the Year

  • Winner: Elderslie Butchers (Elderslie)
  • Commended: Aubrey Allen (Leamington Spa) / Battlefield 1403 Butcher (Shrewsbury) / Hugh Black & Sons Butchers (Bathgate) / Surrey Hills Butchers (Oxshott)

Cheesemonger of the Year

  • Winner: Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop (Reading)
  • Commended: The Cheese Lady (Haddington) / The Cheese Shop (Chester) / The Little Cheesemonger (Rhuddlan)

Delicatessen of the Year

  • Winner: Broad Bean Delicatessen (Ludlow)
  • Commended: Bayley & Sage (Battersea) / Forest Deli (Coleford) / Giddy Grocer (London) / Ginger Whale Delicatessen (Cleckheaton) / Guzzl (London) / MacFarlane’s Delicatessen (London) / The Bees Country Kitchen (Chorley) / The Olive Tree Deli (Mold) / Thomas of Helmsley (Helmsley)

Farm Shop – Large Retailer of the Year

  • Winner: Cannon Hall Farm Shop (Barnsley)
  • Commended: Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop (Bakewell) / Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen (Hungerford) / Newlyns Farm Shop (Hook)

Farm Shop – Small Retailer of the Year

  • Winner: Battlefield 1403 (Shrewsbury)
  • Commended: Eggs To Apples Farm Shop (Etchingham) / Minskip Farm Shop (Boroughbridge) / Parc Y Bocs, Burns Farm Shop (Kidwelly) / Tori and Bens Farm (Kings Newton) / Waterperry Farm Shop (Oxford) / Welbeck Farm Shop (Worksop)

Fishmonger of the Year

  • Winner: Fyne Fish (Cockermouth) Ltd (Cockermouth)

Foodhall of the Year

  • Winner: Bakers & Larners of Holt (Holt)
  • Commended: Cunninghams Butchers & Food Hall (Newry) / Delifonseca Dockside (Liverpool) / Shrewsbury Market Hall (Shrewsbury) / Webbs Garden Centre (Droitwich) / Weetons Food Hall (Harrogate)

Greengrocer of the Year

  • Winner: Andreas of Chelsea Green (London)

Newcomer of the Year

  • Winner: Minskip Farm Shop (Boroughbridge)
  • Commended: Bayley & Sage (Battersea) / Broad Bean Delicatessen (Ludlow) / Forest Deli (Coleford) / Giddy Grocer (London) / Guzzl (London) / The Cheese Lady (Haddington) / The Little Cheesemonger (Rhuddlan) / Waterperry Farm Shop (Oxford)

Online Business of the Year

  • Winner: World Products t/a indianmart (Markfield)
  • Commended: Farmers Choice Free Range (Fareham) / Farmison & Co (Ripon) / Milk and More (Aldershot)

Village Store/Local Shop of the Year

  • Winner: Campbell’s of Leyburn (Leyburn)
  • Commended: FINK (York) / Good Food (Catford) / Helperby Stores Deli & Café (York)

Regional winners

  • East Anglia: Bakers & Larners of Holt (Holt)
  • Midlands: Battlefield 1403 (Shrewsbury)
  • North East: Cannon Hall Farm Shop (Barnsley)
  • North West: Lovingly Artisan (Kendal)
  • Northern Ireland: Cunninghams Butchers & Food Hall (Newry)
  • Scotland: Elderslie Butchers (Elderslie)
  • South East: Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop (Reading)
  • South West: Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen (Hungerford)
  • Wales:  The Olive Tree Deli (Mold)