The Apple Tree Farm Shop at Brimsmore Gardens in Yeovil has walked away with a top accolade at the 2012 Garden Centre Association (GCA) awards.
The Farm Shop, which is part of The Gardens Group, was awarded Best Farm Shop in the Wales and the West region at the GCA awards, which are renowned in the industry. Cath Collins, manager of The Apple Tree Farm Shop comments: “I was bouncing off the walls when I heard we had won. We’ve worked really hard for the last five years; listening to what our customers want, going out to meet local producers and finding the very best food and drink from our area, talking to our customers about local producers and getting the producers into the Farm Shop, and also adding a range of gluten-free foods, which we are constantly asked for, so all this work has paid off.
“It’s only recently that the Farm Shop has been included in the GCA audit so we really are thrilled. I’m really grateful to all the local producers who have supported all our tasting events, and of course to the whole team at the garden centre,” finished Cath.
The Garden Centre Association stamp is a quality mark for garden centres around the UK and its criteria for membership is rigorously upheld to ensure quality and service from all members. In the awards, The Gardens Group also picked up 3rd place in the Best Restaurant Category for the Engine Room at Poundbury Gardens, 2nd in the Best Planteria category and 3rd for Best Pet and Aquatic section at Castle Gardens in Sherborne.
Mike Burks, MD of The Gardens Group added: “We were delighted with the results at this year’s GCA awards and had a number of positive comments from others in the industry who acknowledged The Gardens Group’s success despite some terrible weather.”
Garden centres in the area are divided into two categories depending on their turnover and the judges examine every aspect of the Garden Centre from the products on offer, the condition of the car park, environmental policies, the quality of the customer experience and the overall team ethos. The Wales and the West region includes Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wales and Wiltshire.