BUSINESS partners who left the bright lights of London to run a farm shop in Wickham St Paul are celebrating after scooping a countywide award.
Spencer's Farm Shop was named top farm shop in the annual Essex Life Fine Food and Drink Awards.
The shop, run by Jenny Spencer and Jo O’Boyle, was anonymously nominated by its customers, before a judge attended as a secret shopper.
Last week after voting by readers of the magazine the farm shop was awarded the top prize at a glitzy ceremony at Down Hall Country House Hotel in Bishops Stortford.
Jenny, who is the third generation of her family to run the shop, and Jo took over in March.
Jo said: “We had worked in London for a few years and decided we wanted a bit more out of life.
“I have got small children and I wanted to spend more time with them.
“We knew Jenny’s mum and dad were looking for someone else to take over the shop.
“I managed to convince my husband to up sticks and move here.
“Whilst the shop has been hugely successful in the past, in the last few years it has been at its lowest point.
“We took over in March and worked with suppliers and advertisers to try and build the base back up."
Changes included improvements to the shop layout and introducing items for sale such as scarves and clothes.
The duo were shocked to pick up the award beating last year’s winners Blackwells Farm Shop in Coggeshall.
Jo said: “We didn’t think we were going to win and amazingly we came away with the top prize.
“We have a loyal customer base who have been here through the good times and the bad times.”