Customer approval hands two firms ‘rural Oscars’ nod

Speen Village store's Alison Templeman
Speen Village store's Alison Templeman

Two Vale businesses have been honoured with nominations in the south east final of the ‘Rural Oscars’, the Countryside Alliance awards.

Following customer nominations, Terrick Beef has been put forward in the Local Food category, while Speen stores and post office is in the running for best village shop.

Each will have to beat off stiff competition from three other nominations to reach the grand final, but Terrick Beef’s Heather Jan Brunt said it was great just to be nominated.

She said: “It is a nice surprise. We are very grateful to our loyal customers. We only found out about the awards shortly before the nominations closed, so we emailed all the customers and asked if they wanted to nominate us. Obviously enough of them must have done that.”

Mrs Brunt’s husband Geoff rears the cattle himself and they sell it, along with other foods, at their store. The Terrick shop only opens once a month, but customers keep coming back for more.

The Speen store, near Princes Risborough, is run by Alison Templeman, with her father, Bob, running the post office. It sells a number of items including homemade cakes, fresh bread baked on site and handmade greetings cards.

Ms Templeman said she was ‘shocked’ about the nomination.

She said: “It’s lovely to know that you’re doing something right.”

Regional judging of each category will now take place, with the winners announced in January. They will then go forward to the final, which will be held at Parliament on March 13.

Countryside Alliance south east regional director Michelle Nudds said: “It is exciting to see such a diverse range of rural businesses included in this list and I look forward to meeting the people behind each shop counter.

“The South East continues to have a tough year through bad weather which has affected the harvest and tourism. It is vital that we support our small rural businesses and help to revive our rural economy.”