A DENSTONE eatery won nearly half of the awards on offer at a Staffordshire fine foods recognition ceremony.
The Denstone Hall Farm Shop scooped five top prizes at the Taste of Staffordshire evening, including the Tea Room of the Year award and the Local Food Retailer of the Year award.
This year the shop has quadrupled the seating in the café to meet growing demand with a barn conversion.
Rupert Hill, co-owner of Denstone Hall Farm Shop, said: “It’s incredible to win. During the past 12 months we have opened an extension to the café so winning these awards feels like recognition for our efforts.
“We applied with our fingers very firmly crossed so of course we are thrilled to win five awards, we did better than we could have hoped.
“We’ve won at the Taste of Staffordshire awards before so we are pleased to regain a former title and add to it.
“We’ve never won the farm shop award before so that really is the cherry on top of the cake, as it reinforces what we’re all about which is quality local produce.
“This year we’ve increased the size of our café to 90 seats from 22 seats in a purpose-built barn conversion.
“When we told customers we were expanding, we were hesitant, but we have had a fantastic response so far and customers really love it so far.
“Our next project is the landscaping to make the most of the lovely views we have. We’ve converted our old shop into business units and built a new one.”
Recognising quality, excellence and the use of local produce in the county, the awards celebrate some of Staffordshire’s finest, from restaurants to pubs, brasseries to tea-rooms, visitor attractions to local food producers. Denstone Hall Farm Shop won first prize for the NFU award for Local Food Champion, the Service Science Award for Outstanding Personal Service, the Local Food Producer of the Year, Local Food Retailer of the Year and the Tea Room of the Year.
Graeme Whitehead, tourism manager for Destination Staffordshire, said: “It takes great determination and commitment to work in the hospitality industry and we hope that these awards will inspire and help businesses grow.”