National award for great food from unique market garden in Ballymena

Slemish Market Garden in Ballymena has been named the Best Greengrocers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the prestigious Slow Food Awards in the UK.

The awards are based on a public vote from thousands of people across the UK over the summer months. Each UK region has its own winners, with the highest number of votes in each category also being the overall UK winner.

Slemish Market Garden gained the national and local awards as the Best Greengrocer for great and nutritious fruit and vegetables to be found anywhere in the UK.

The family business, based near the town’s popular ECOS Nature Park and run by husband and wife team Frank and Linda McCooke and son Matthew, gained the overall UK award along with the Northern Ireland regional titles as Best Greengrocer in the national Slow Food Awards.

Frank, a respected Ballymena native, describes the two awards as “phenomenal recognition” for the company’s longstanding focus on consistently delivering “superb quality and sustainable fruit and vegetables”. “It’s really fantastic for us, a small garden centre and greengrocers in Ballymena, to have been voted the UK’s best by lovers of good, natural food. I am sure there were more than a few eyebrows raised in the south of England, the heartland of Slow Food, on such an important award coming to such a small business in Ballymena.”


Family: Ballymena family Linda, Matthew and Frank McCooke of Slemish Market Garden won the UK’s and Northern Ireland’s Best Greengrocer title in the Slow Food Awards