Mother and daughter in line for Rural Oscars

All smiles: mum and daughter Elizabeth and Betty

By Betsy Everett

Mother and daughter Elizabeth Fawcett and Betty Guy of Askrigg have reached the regional finals of the 2019 Rural Oscars, the Countryside Alliance’s annual awards for rural skills, produce and enterprise.

Their delicatessen, fresh food takeaway and café, Humble Pie in Market Place, has made it to the top four in Yorkshire, in the local food and drink section of the awards.

Nominations come entirely from the public, and this year reached a record 17,000 over all five categories

“We didn’t have to apply and we had absolutely no idea we had been entered until we heard from the organisers that someone had nominated us anonymously. After that, our customers put in their own nominations and that is what makes it so special,” said Betty, who at 20 is the youngest of Elizabeth’s three daughters.

Mum and daughter are partners in the popular, but tiny, shop which reopened in April 2017.

Elizabeth first opened the shop – the original sign has been reinstated over the entrance – in 1999, when Betty was 10 months old, Susie was two and Emily eight. It closed in 2005 and Elizabeth worked as an estate agent for the next 12 years.

“Some of my earliest memories are of being in here when I was a little girl. It was a big part of our lives as children, and it is again,” says Betty.

There is, she says, no secret to their success: fresh food from a range of local suppliers, expertly prepared in the small kitchen behind the shop and lovingly served.

“Our local suppliers are vital to our success, and we aim to provide a warm, welcoming environment for everyone, whether visitors or locals, alone or in groups. We can’t have dogs in the shop and café but we provide hot water bottles and blankets – for the owners, not the dogs! – if they want to eat outside,” she says.

English regional champions will be announced in May, propelling them to the grand finals which will be held in the Houses of Parliament in June.  Before then, judges will visit the finalists in all five categories – food and drink, village shop/post office, butcher, rural enterprise and pub – throughout the country, interviewing owners about their business.

Countryside Alliance awards director, Sarah Lee, said: “We received a record-breaking 17,000 nominations this year, showing just how much the public values and supports our hard-working rural enterprises. I look forward to getting out and visiting these fantastic businesses as judging gets underway.”

The judging panel includes Masterchef’s William Sitwell, Philip Johnston of the Daily Telegraph, Emma Penny of Farmers Guardian, Peter Gott, founder of Borough Market, and Tim Bonner, CEO of the Countryside Alliance.

Betty, aged three, outside the original Humble Pie. Now she’s a partner in the venture.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. It is an outstanding little café/shop. Delicious home made food. Cakes, quiches, ready made meals. Great ambiance, everyone is so welcoming & jolly!

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