Double delight for Barningham bakery and farm shop
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A DALE bakery is enjoying a double celebration after being shortlisted for a national award and being recognised for its community service during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coghlans of Barningham was hailed by Teesdale’s MP, Dehenna Davison, as an “unsung hero” during an online ceremony which featured Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and celebrity antiques expert David Harper.
In the same week the artisan bakery heard it had been shortlisted for The Grocer magazine’s Farm Shop and Deli Awards as North East Delicatessen of the Year.
Of the “unsung hero” recognition, owner Andrew Coghlan said: “I felt it was great recognition of the effort the staff have put in. We have been working since March 27 last year so it is nice to have recognition that they have done something worthwhile during the pandemic.
“It great that our customers have appreciated it – they had more than 1,000 nominations for the award and we were delighted to be second in that.”
The traditional bakery was transformed at the beginning of the first lockdown to expand its range to whatever people needed and began offering free deliveries with no minimum order.
They also offered other assistance such as picking up prescriptions and dropping them off during their delivery rounds.
On Fridays the bakery makes between 120 and 150 deliveries, including its range of three-course meals. Coghlans also contacts its customers regularly, particularly vulnerable people living alone.
Mr Coghlan said: “We try to ring them once a week just to hear they are okay. I think it is important to keep that contact because we want them to be healthy in mind and body.”
The bakery’s extensive range, which includes fruit and vegetables, is sourced locally wherever possible to help other businesses in the area.
Cheeses are bought in from Teesdale Cheesemakers in Butterknowle, Cotherstone Cheese and from Simon Lacey in Reeth, while all of the bakery’s meat is provided by McFarlane’s Butchers in Barnard Castle. It’s range of quality fresh fruit is extensive and even exotic. Mr Coghlan said: “It is great – people are coming in and enjoying fresh papaya, lychees, quince, clementine and pineapple.”
Of its shortlisting for the national accolade, Mr Coghlan said: “It is nice for our staff to get a bit of boost. I think there are six in the region that have been shortlisted and the nearest is Corbridge Larder. It is great recognition for Owen [Moody], Janet [Coghlan], Daisy [Whitbread] and the team.”
During the next stage of the awards secret judges will visit the shop. The awards will be presented at the NEC, in Birmingham, on July 5.