'Winner Jan has X-factor'
UK - Birmingham Post
A farm shop in Rutland has been named the Midland winner of a competition to find the best rural retailer in the country.
Northfield Farm at Cold Overton beat other regional hopefuls including Hopton Hogs of Hopton Cange-ford, Shropshire; Beckford Stores, of Beckford, Worcestershire and Stan's Super Store at St Martins, near Oswestry, Shropshire, to win the regional title.
The competition was launched earlier this year by the Countryside Alliance and the shop in Rutland will now compete with 12 other UK finalists for the overall national best rural retailer title.
Jan McCourt, who runs the farm shop, specialises in rare breed meats, rearing Dexter cattle. The meat, which is hung for at least three weeks, has attracted praise from a number of chefs including Rick Stein and Clarissa Dickson-Wright.
Clare Rowson, regional director of the alliance, said: "Jan is absolutely passionate about every side of his business, from the working farm which he oversees, to the hanging and butchery of his excellent rare breed meats, right through to the retail side of the business via his farm shop, website, mobile catering unit and stall at Borough Market.
"He oversees the whole operation and also supports other local producers in his outlets. As well as his first-rate produce, Jan also has 'the X-factor' that we were looking for."