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A FAMILY run village shop has scooped a prestigious national award and were featured on BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme.

Jason Hudson and his wife Lisa are celebrating after their shop at The Bells Inn, in Almeley won the You and Yours Best Food Retailer Award in the 16th BBC Food and Farming Awards.

“I can't believe it, it's just what we do," said Jason.

"We run a pub and a village shop.

"To be recognised is unbelievable and for the villagers to show their appreciation is fantastic.”

The couple live in the pub and shop, which they bought eight and a half years ago, with their children Sophie and Matthew.

When they took over the business they ditched the restaurant side of it and replaced it with a village shop and delicatessen, allowing visitors to have a pint of ale while buying their groceries. As well as fresh meat and vegetables - some from growers in the community. They also sell deli treats including olives, pates and charcuterie and are open from 9am until midnight every day.

After three years of trade their enterprise has became so well known they were nominated for the BBC Food and Farming Awards, seeing off 800 entries to make the final three.

Residents of Almeley are so appreciative of the village shop that a band of volunteers help to run it one day a week to give the owners a day off work. Jason added: “Some of the men of the village say they are just popping down the shop for a pint of milk and have a couple of pints of beer too."

Presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, founder and host of the Awards, Sheila Dillon said: "As always we were looking for great food—that’s transforming society. And we found people and organisations doing that in their thousands."

* The winners will feature on a BBC Radio 4 Food Programme special on Sunday, at 12.30pm and 1.30pm. Highlights from the awards will be broadcast on Monday at 3pm, on BBC Radio 4.

*BBC1’s Countryfile will also report on the Awards on Sunday 8th May