Grain reigns as quinoa grown near Ellesmere heading for Shropshire plates
Quinoa grown near Ellesmere will soon be on dinner plates in Shropshire.
Morrisons, in Oswestry, is now stocking the products grown and harvested by the British Quinoa Company.
Stephen Jones, who runs the business with his father Edward, hopes shoppers will pick up a packet and try the grain, which originates from South America.
He said: "It's great that our local community will be able to get quinoa which was grown right on their doorsteps. After it is harvested it can take anywhere between a month and two years to make it into stores. This is because once we clean it and pack it down, we can store it for years as it is a grain.
"I hope that seeing our local product will encourage more people to try it. It can be used as a replacement for rice or couscous and it is healthier than both of them.
"The rise in veganism and healthy eating has seen more of a demand for quinoa but there is still many more who haven't tried it and are unaware of the benefits."
After trying a small amount if quinoa in 2005, Stephen, who studied agriculture at Harper Adams University, near Newport, attempted to grow his own and was surprised at how well the crop thrived.
It took seven years to go commercial and the pair turned it into a business in 2012.
Stephen added: "It's usually grown in South America, very high up where it's cool and dry. When we get those kind of conditions over here in Shropshire, you can grow it quite well.
"We've had our quinoa sold before under other brands but this is the first time we've got it in a local shop as the British Quinoa Company. I hope it will roll out further nationally in the future."