The Cedar Barn Farm Shop and Café near Pickering has been awarded Best On-Farm Café/Restaurant in the National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association (FARMA) awards for 2011. Cedar Barn triumphed in the face of some very stiff competition, including the famous Daylesford Organic Farm Shop in Gloucestershire.

The trophy was presented at a ceremony in the Bournemouth Pavilion, which took part during the Farm & More 2011 farm diversification event last month. The FARMA judges lavished particular praise upon Cedar Barn’s café for the “top-quality home-grown food on offer, served by friendly staff in a stunning setting with spectacular views across the farm”.

The FARMA accolade is just the latest in a string of awards won by Cedar Barn since it opened in 2007, including Best Use Of Regional Produce in a Café/Tearoom and the Fresh Produce category in the deliciouslyorkshire awards. Cedar Barn has also previously been a regional finalist in the HSBC Start-Up Stars competition.

Karl Avison of Cedar Barn says “We are absolutely thrilled to have won another award, especially one that is so fiercely contested! Our business has grown out of our love for food and farming, but we also pride ourselves on offering an important community service, so it’s great to achieve national recognition for the hard work of all our staff”.

Cedar Barn is run by Karl and his wife Mandy. After inheriting his father’s farm Karl soon realised that he would find it difficult to make a living out of traditional farming, so set about finding ways to diversify and create extra revenue; these have included holiday accommodation, pick-your-own soft fruits, cultivating asparagus (which was given the royal seal of approval by none other than Her Majesty the Queen on a recent visit to Scarborough!) and sales to the public of Aberdeen Angus beef. Eventually the Avisons realised that the best way to create a sustainable business would be to open their own farm shop.

The Cedar Barn Farm Shop and Café duly opened in 2007 and is housed in an eco-friendly cedar-clad building designed by Karl himself – truly a man of many talents! In the shop visitors can buy home-produced beef and lamb, as well as free range local pork and chicken, from the farm’s own butchery, home-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables, plus locally-sourced dairy produce, preserves, bakery products and much more.

Many ingredients come directly from the rolling fields which are visible through the café windows! Other favourites include home-roast ham and home-made quiches and Scotch eggs. The fantastic variety of soft fruit grown on the farm is also highlighted, served in mouth-watering seasonal desserts such as summer pudding and fruit crumble, as well as packed into home-made preserves for customers to take home.

The Avisons have made the best possible use of their farm’s own meats to create a range of high-quality products such as burgers, sausages, ready meals and pies, with its Aberdeen Angus steak pies being highly-praised in the Yorkshire Post magazine. These are both sold in the shop and served in the café. Both the shop and the café also form a great platform for a multitude of other local businesses, and the Avisons have worked hard to forge good relationships with local farmers and food producers. Around 40 Yorkshire-based producers now supply their fare either to be sold in the shop or served in the café. The farm is now proud to employ 22 local people and is looking forward to a bright future.