Ludlow Food Centre's first success

Following a brisk first week of trading, Ludlow Food Centre has released details of its top ten best selling products

- many of which were meat.

First to fly off the handcrafted sycamore shelves was Judy Goodman's asparagus spears, freshly picked on the family farm at Great Witley, near Worcester, just 25 miles away.

The second most popular item was another Worcestershire speciality, ripe vine tomatoes from renowned growers and tomato juice maker Drews.

Free range chicken from Springfields of Herefordshire was the only other product on the list to come from an external supplier. The remaining seven best sellers were all meat products and either reared on the Earl of Plymouth's Estate or produced by the Ludlow Food Centre's in-house butcher John Brereton and his team. Organic sirloin steak, lamb cutlets, traditional style sausages and handmade Gloucester Old Spot pork pie were quickly snapped up.

Managing director Sandy Boyd is delighted with the store's footfall since it opened on 18 April in Bromfield, on the outskirts of Ludlow.

He says, "The initial response by residents and visiting tourists has been most encouraging and the fact that core products such as vegetables, meat and bread have consistently sold out over our first few days is evidence that there is a demand for high quality, reasonably priced groceries with clear proof of origin and masses of flavour.

"It is really just a case of going back to basics but we have done it on an unprecedented scale and these early sales figures indicate that this is definitely the way forward."

The £2.5m store has been billed a regional centre of excellence for food and farming and has been backed by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, The Rural Regeneration Zone and Defra.

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