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Ayrshire-based farm shop shortlisted for national business award

The Milk Hoose and its staff

A FARM at the heart of the South Ayrshire community has been nominated for a national rural award.

The Coo Shed is on the shortlist for the Best Rural Diversification Project in the Rural Business Awards after winning the Scotland regional final.

The award category, sponsored by leading property consultancy Fisher German which also sponsors the national final itself, recognises rural initiatives that have gone above and beyond to offer something different to the local community.

The Ayr-based business will now go head-to-head with other regional winners from across the UK in an online national final on Thursday, February 24.

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The Coo Shed, a cow-themed coffee shop, was launched by the Kerr family and is based at South Corton Farm.

Produce from the dairy farm is at the core of the business, with its latest addition ‘The Milk Hoose’ – a building in the grounds of the farm housing fresh milk vending machines – capitalising on the popularity of the flavoured milkshakes being sold in the coffee shop. 

Staff are currently designing a story board to explain the sustainable cycle of dairy farming, and it is hoped this will be an added attraction on the farm which also has a useful educational twist. 

Looking ahead, there are plans to extend out The Milk Hoose to house a full-size model milking cow.

Alison Kerr, owner of The Coo Shed, said: “We are very proud and honoured to stand beside some fabulous diversification businesses. It gives our 32-person strong local staff confidence and reassurance that we’re on the right track with what we’re doing here, which first began back in 2004.

“We’ve already received acclaim from the Scottish Tourist Board for our farm business in South Ayrshire, so now being recognised by the Rural Business Awards for having the best Scottish rural diversification project gives us further affirmation that our five-star accredited facility is worthy of a visit for anyone in the area.

“Bringing together different generations in the community continues to be at the heart of everything we do at The Coo Shed, and we’re already looking forward to seeing locals continue to benefit from The Coo Shed farm shop, Corton Plants and South Corton Farm for years to come.”

Molly Dickson and Louise Duffin, of Fisher German, are on the Rural Business Awards’ judging panel.

David Merton, Head of Rural at Fisher German, said: “The Coo Shed is a prime example of how the expansion of a farm business can have a hugely positive effect on a rural, largely farming-centred community and also support the local economy by providing a variety of employment opportunities.”

The Coo Shed’s fellow category nominees are The Enbarr Foundation in Flintshire, Jimmy Birchmore Events Ltd in Warwickshire, Musgrove Willows in Somerset and Nettlecombe Farm on the Isle of Wight. 

To find out more about The Coo Shed, visit

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