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Honor for farm shop

PUBLISHED: 23:00 03 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

A FARM shop which started off as a roadside tabletop and now employs 14 people has been chosen to represent East Anglia in a national competition.

Hollow Trees, of Semer, near Hadleigh, won the title of East Anglian farm shop of the year in a competition run by the NFU.

A FARM shop which started off as a roadside tabletop and now employs 14 people has been chosen to represent East Anglia in a national competition.

Hollow Trees, of Semer, near Hadleigh, won the title of East Anglian farm shop of the year in a competition run by the NFU.

The business was set up by Sally and Robert Bendall 15 years ago and now employs four full-time and 10 part time staff.

Half the produce comes from their own farm and includes beef, lamb, pork, vegetables, herbs and plants.

The shop also sells a range of sausages, cakes, pickles and pies from approximately 200 local suppliers.

But it also tries to fill the gap for the six surrounding villages which have lost their own local shops over the last decade.

It produces a quarterly news letter, the Pink Pig, supplies free Christmas trees to local schools, hosts a village barn dance and has sponsored a donkey derby.

The farm has also recently developed a farm trail to help educate people about food and farming.

Runners up for East Anglia were Alder Carr Farm, Creeting St Mary, in second place, and Friday Street farm shop, at Farnham, near Saxmundham, in third place.

Hollow Trees will now represent Suffolk in the competition's national finals, for which the first prize is £500.

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