Blue Tin Produce Farm Shop in Ipsden has been selected as the South East regional winners of the Countryside Alliance Award for Local Food and Drink for the third time.

The overall champion for England and Wales will be decided at a special winners event later this summer but owners Jed Jackson and Emma Darke have been whittled down from over 18,000 nominations to the last seven.

The farm shop business was started in 2009 by the couple when their two boys Jake and Johnny were small and it seemed easier to create a shop than travel to the local markets with their meats.

Mr Jackson rears rare breed Dexter cattle and free range Gloucester Old Spot pigs while Ms Darke runs the farm shop and plans events.

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In December 2017 they expanded into a larger purpose-built building and added coffee and cake.

They adapted during the pandemic and now offer a year-round outdoor coffee bar serving locally roasted coffee, homemade cakes and other produce as well as local beer or a chilled glass of rosé.

Also imminent is the addition of home-smoked charcuterie, including chorizo, biltong, coppa, lomo and bresaola from Mr Jackson’s neighbouring smokehouse.

Ms Darke said: “We are so chuffed and it really is thanks to our amazing customers, family and friends too who are unfailingly on board with what we’re trying to do.

“It’s like a big family where everyone is pleased for everyone. It’s fantastic to get recognition for doing something that you love and makes the hard work worthwhile”.

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