As our national final is just under a month away, we think it is the perfect time to get to know the businesses vying for our coveted national awards. Over the next few weeks we will be taking a look at each of our twelve categories in turn, from Best Rural Start Up all the way through to the Triumph Over Adversity award.

Each national finalist has already won the award for their category in their own region. We think they’re all fantastic rural businesses, but who will our judges declare to be the cream of the crop?

Find out more about each of the business in with a chance of winning the national Best Rural Retail Business Award below. This award is sponsored by Avantigas.


Baa Stool Ltd – Wales & Northern Ireland Region

Baa Stool design and produce a range of luxury British sheepskin furniture and accessories with removable covers lovingly created in Denbigh, North Wales.

Baa Stool’s aim is to make quality pieces of furniture that can fit in anywhere but still have a real wow factor. The result is a range of unique and contemporary furniture and home accessories that compliment modern and period interiors equally.

Their main product, the Baa Stool, is a handmade footstool with a removable British sheepskin cover available in a wide range of styles and colours.


Clare Haggas Fine Art and Design Ltd – Midlands Region

Clare Haggas launched her business in 2015, specialising in large vibrant countryside art, particularly pheasant and game the paintings are unique and visually impressive. In 2017 a moment of inspiration drove her to transfer her powerful art onto silk accessories and the business has become a British-made luxury brand. Clare Haggas Fine Art and Design is also growing into a significant retail business through her website, in addition to being represented in 45 stores in nine countries around the world.


Itteringham Community Shop – East Region

There has been a shop in the heart of Itteringham village since 1637. After 380 years of commerce it now trades successfully as a community-run business, thanks to the help of staff, local volunteers, supporters and guidance from the Itteringham Community Association (formed in 1994). The philosophy of Itteringham Community Shop is quite simple: to serve the community with a wide selection of tasty locally produced food and thereby helping small local rural businesses and providing local employment. Above all else, the community shop is an important social hub for local residents and the wider rural community.


Minskip Farm Shop – North Region

Minskip Farm Shop is a young, vibrant, high welfare hen farm. They regularly have their minds blown by the amazing egg, and love to share their egg geekery with the world. They have a small flock of free range happy hens who live in a hen spa and lay incredible eggs. Amazing seasonal produce is grown in their market garden, and products from other local producers are also sold in the shop.

The owners are the next generation of entrepreneurial farmers and their mission is to change the face of farming, reconnecting the public with real food, fresh from the farm.


Newlyns – South East Region

Newlyns is a family run business operating a 500 acre traditional mixed farm rearing beef cattle, outdoor pigs and sheep. As well as their own meats the farm shop also sells a wide variety of local seasonal produce including fruit, veg, eggs and cheeses. Their deli foods include home cured and roasted hams plus homemade pates, soups, quiches, pies, ready meals and much more. At Newlyns Farm Shop they also have a fabulous farm cafe plus a highly regarded cookery school and have recently added their own specialist fishmonger and cheese room.


Sam Wilson Studio Ltd – South West Region

Sam Wilson Studio is a luxury homeware brand inspired by the British Countryside. Sam’s lino prints tell stories of rural life, Cotswold villages and the surroundings where her studio is based. Her lino prints are then adapted into designs for fabrics, homeware, china and stationary. Sam Wilson Studio are excited to now have 3 successful flagship stores in the Cotswolds, in Chipping Campden, Bath and Stow on The Wold, online store and a new Trouva presence. Sam Wilson is also stocked in approximately 200 other stores all over the UK, farm shops, galleries, independent gift shops and destination stores.


Which business will be triumphant? Find out on 27th February! We’ll be posting the results on our Twitter and Facebook channels, so you can follow along there. All that’s left is to wish the very best of luck to the businesses vying for the Avantigas-sponsored National Best Rural Retail Business Award, as well as all of our other national finalists.

To see the full list of finalists or find more information on the National Final, go to www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk/national

If you think your business has a shot at winning Best Rural Retail Business, or one of our other awards, why not enter the 2020/21 Rural Business Awards? Learn more at www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk/enter-2020

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