Rural farm shop raises the steaks
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
MAINSGILL Farm Shop has been named Yorkshire’s best independent retailer of 2021.
The rural store, off the A66 near Ravensworth, also earned a best fresh meat award for its tomahawk steak in the Deliciouslyorkshire Taste Awards earlier this month.
Judges described Mainsgill Farm shop as a “real retail gem” with a Yorkshire focus throughout its huge range of locally-sourced products.
Shop owners Andrew and Maria Henshaw, who started the business in 2001, say it is recognition of the efforts of staff over what has been a “difficult 18 months” of
working through a major extension and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mrs Henshaw said: “We haven’t entered the awards for a couple of years but we won a Best Fresh Meat award in 2016 for our rack of lamb.”
This year they won for their steak, which is a French trimmed ribeye steak on the bone. Mr Henshaw said: “We produce the corn to feed the cows so there are zero food miles involved in producing the meat.”
Son Jack, who manages the farm, added: “We only have heifers because we believe it the meat matures better and has better marbling.”
Mrs Henshaw said the best independent retailer award was great recognition for the staff.
She added: “The team has had a hard 18 months, so it has given them a bit of a boost.
In making the award a spokesperson for Deliciouslyorkshire said: Our judge visited on a sunny summer day with the car park heaving, helpful staff on hand and a great atmosphere throughout.
“Mainsgill is a very professional set-up and really a destination in itself.
“The staff were busy but friendly and helpful, and there was a real Yorkshire focus throughout with a huge range of locally sourced products. A real retail gem.”
As for the tomahawk steak they added: “Rarely does an entry cause such an intake of breath from our seasoned judging panel but this year’s fresh meat winner, Mainsgill Farm Shop’s tomahawk steak did just that.
“Reared on the family farm, the tomahawk steak wasn’t just visually sensational, it packed a punch on flavour too. Quality from start to finish – well butchered and obviously produced with care and skill.
“We love the beautiful flavours and juicy texture – a real melt-in-the-mouth piece of meat.”
In 2019 the farm shop also won the Institute of Meat’s Great British Butcher award for best british kitchen ready product for its creamy pork and potato bake.