THE best cider, butchery and milkshake bar the county has to offer are all situated in Mid Devon, according to an awards scheme.
A number of businesses and farming enterprises ensured the district was well represented at the gala event held to showcase the finest food and drink producers across Devon.
Veysey’s Butchers, Cullompton, was voted the Best Butcher of the Year at the Devon Life Food and Drinks Award 2012, despite stiff competition from meat producers at Darts Farm and Kingsbridge.
Philip Davey, who has run the Fore Street business with Michael Kennedy for four years, said: “I believe it was down to the secret shopper who looked at the produce quality, customer service and things like that.
“Obviously we were shortlisted for the final three and to win the award is a huge achievement.
“This is our first award but hopefully the first of many.”
Mr Davey said traceability of produce was a key factor in the judging criteria.
Cullompton and Crediton farmer’s markets narrowly missed out on an award for their category, which went to the Totnes Good Food Sunday
Crediton enjoyed success though with Sandford Orchards, which produces cider and apple juices, and won the Best Drinks Producer Award. Vagabonds Milkshake Bar only opened in the summer but won the Best New Enterprise Company.
Barny Butterfield, who, with his sister Tally, manages a 70-acre orchard at Lower Parks Farm, Fordton, said: “Judges said, having tasted the products, that they could tell the quality was right up there, but they said it was also for the fact that Devon is at the heart of our brand – it’s where my sister and I make all of our cider and juices, where we were born and grew up, and that is part of our branding.”
Nicole Flanagan, who runs Vagabonds in Crediton High Street with Holly Franklin, narrowly beat Mr Ben’s Emporium, Cullompton, and Millie & Me, Brixham, to secure her accolade.
She said: “I honestly didn’t believe it and I was just blown away – being nominated was such an amazing thing and I have only been doing this for a few months. Independent shops around here are amazing and they
need some recognition.”
The Butterleigh Inn and the Market House Inn, Cullompton, lost out to Spreyton’s Tom Cobley Tavern for the Best Community Pub of the Year Award.