Derbyshire farm shop Croots is celebrating the news that it has been awarded two Great Taste Awards for its traditional pork pie and its lemon oil.

The awards run by the Guild of Fine Food are regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the food and drink industry. Croots traditional pork pie and its lemon oil were each awarded a one star gold award by the judges, who included chefs, food writers and retailers.

Last year, one of Croots’ ales, Cow Juice Beer, won a gold star rating in the Great Taste Awards, while the previous year the accolade was given to the farm shop’s Black Pudding Sausage.

“We are thrilled that both our pork pie and our lemon oil have been recognised as gold star standard in the Great Taste Awards, which are one of the most highly regarded food and drink award schemes in the UK,” said Steve Croot, who runs the farm shop at Farnah House Farm, in Wirksworth Road near Duffield.

“Both products are popular with our customers, and I’m delighted to hear that the judges of the Great Taste Awards agreed that they are special, and have given them the seal of approval. Judging is based on taste, not marketing, so customers know that a product that’s been awarded a Great Taste Award is going to taste really good.”

More than 7,400 products were entered into the awards, which are regarded as the benchmark in speciality food and drink, but less than a third were granted gold stars status.

The Great Taste Awards are the latest in a number of awards won by Croots over the past few months.

The shop and café, which recently celebrated its third birthday, was last month commended in the Deli of the Year competition after being nominated by customers as part of a national competition, and it also scooped four accolades in the British Pie Awards 2011, including a gold for its popular steak and kidney pie.

In May, Croots took three golds and a silver award for its sausages and pies at the 17th Robin Hood Championship. And in February Croots won 16 awards for its sausages and pies at the BPEX regional roadshow at Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire.

Last year it was a runner-up in the Best UK Independent Food Retailer 2010 category of the Observer Food Monthly Awards. The year before, it was named in The Independent’s top 50 best food shops.

“Our staff work very hard to create top quality products, and it’s extremely gratifying to receive awards,” said Steve. “The awards we have won recently have been based on either feedback from industry experts or from customers, so it’s great to hear that we are hitting the spot with both.”

Croots, based at Farnah House Farm, opened its doors in June 2008 and has gone from strength to strength. As well as the shop and café, it recently opened a plant nursery.

Croots Farm Shop and Kitchen is open Sundays from 10am to 4pm (café until 3.45pm), and from Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (café until 4.30pm). It is closed on Mondays.

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