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Hawarden Estate Farm Shop wins gold in the People’s Choice Food Awards

HAWARDEN Estate Farm Shop scooped a gold award for the all-round shopping experience it provides to visitors.

Shop staff were presented with the award for Best Shopping Experience in the first People’s Choice Food Awards.

The result was officially announced at the Royal Welsh Show – which ran from July 23-26 – as part of the 2012 Wales True Taste Food and Drink Awards.

Judges described the shop as having the ‘feel that the first farm shops had, rustic, with shelves full of goodies’.

The farm shop and the newly revamped Glynne Arms – both part of the Gladstone family’s estate – form a business which is expected to turn over up to £2m this year.

Since the shop opened in 2008 the business has continued to expand and, under the leadership of general manager Alan Downes, a staff team of 14 has grown to one of 50.

The shop welcomes 4,000 visitors a week and records up to 2,500 transactions.

Alan said: “We’re blessed here on the estate. There are strawberry patches, orchards and tenant farmers providing the meats.

“There are beehives and 25 acres of land with 40 varieties of seasonal produce – you can pick your own strawberries, apples, asparagus, plums and more.

“We are producing 12 months a year and it’s a big selling point.”

Alan knows the shop’s quality produce drives sales, but he also believes its knowledgeable staff are another key factor.

“Knowing your stuff is what it’s all about, and the team we have here really know their stuff,” he added.

“On a personal note I’m thrilled with what we’ve achieved here. We have taken this business from nothing to one of the best around, and we do it by loving what we do and loving our customers.”