AN East Staffordshire coffee shop has been named as one of the best in the country.
Staff at The Apple Tree coffee shop and delicatessen, based at Barton Marina, are celebrating after being handed two major awards by the national Beverage Standards Association.
The popular venue has been honoured for serving the best hot chocolate in the UK and been handed the highest accreditation possible – the Five Cup Michelin stars of the coffee industry.
Owner Gareth Howes, who runs the business with his wife Esther, said: “We are delighted to be recognised with the best in the industry.
“We are perfectionists and want every customer to have the perfect experience.”
Employees were handed the awards at a ceremony in London by Dame Kelly Holmes.
The independently run coffee shop has previously been expertly judged and has won the Four Cup award two years running, but this year was awarded the highest accreditation – the Five Cup Award for outstanding drinks and service, as well as being celebrated for serving the best hot chocolate.
The coffee shop has received other accolades and also been listed in the Guardian’s top 10 coffee shops in the UK.
The husband and wife proprietors started their business in 2007.
Head barista David Felgate said: “The popularity of our coffee shop speaks for itself, and being able to create so many perfect coffees and hot drinks every day has given me great experience.”
Mrs Howes said: “We are lucky to have such excellent staff who share our same passion for quality and service.
“This award means so much to all of us for our hard work and dedication.”
The aims of the awards are to establish nationally recognised standards for independent owned cafes and restaurants, identify and recognise excellence of drinks quality in the cafe market, encourage best service standards and support good staff development and training.