Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Egg seller voted top stall at market

Happy free-range chickens lay great eggs, and great eggs have made Jono Lovatt's stall at the Marlborough Farmers' Market a winner.

Mr Lovatt, of Manuka Hill Free Range Eggs, was named supreme stallholder of the season by customers who voted for their favourite stalls through the season.

Market manager Tina Fortune said the egg stall was in a three-way tie with Gourmet Deli and Hewton Plants, until one vote on the last Sunday of the season decided the winner.

She said the most common comments about the stallholders were that they were friendly, cheerful, reliable and consistent, and had great products .

The best-chef award went to Margaret McHugh, of Gourmet Deli, who created delicious baked items from local produce.

Most improved first-season stallholders were John Soper and Matt Thomas, of Johns Quality Greens, for their move from the Community Stall to their very own stall with a bigger product range.

The Out-There-Cafe's Ben and Heather McAlpine were named the most steadfast stallholders, because they had been at every Marlborough Farmers' Market from the day it started.

Sherrington Grange was recognised for its commitment to product quality and consistency. The company and owner Lisa Harper has received prestigious awards and featured in magazines.

The unique product development award went to Heaven Scent, owned by Neville and Sharon White, with their gardening philosophy and the creation of their Heritage product range.

Jordan Shallcrass was given the staff award for 2009 because of his ability to work with teenage boys and still smile, his reliability, initiative and punctuality.

The awards came as the Sunday market season draws to a close this weekend, but a new season of Thursday afternoon twilight markets will begin next week.

Held at the Forum in Blenheim, the markets will be held from 3.30pm to 6pm.

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