PAST customers include Take That’s Mark Owen and The Krankies – but now one roadside eaterie has a fresh endorsement – a place in the White Van Gourmand.

The discerning guide to lay-by food - written for van drivers by van drivers – has awarded the Scotch Transport Cafe in North Yorkshire a place in its hallowed Top 20 of the UK’s best eateries for drivers.

The brick-built snack counter, located on the A66 near its junction with the A1 at Scotch Corner, has a lengthy menu for hungry drivers.

It boasts ten types of pie, burgers, sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, pies peas and gravy - even buffalo burgers, made from buffalo reared locally near Northallerton.

Owner Brian Vaughan says he tries to source all ingredients locally – even down to the homemade cakes he sells, baked by Mabel – a local resident whose tasty wares are available at local agricultural shows.

“I would think the most popular thing on our menu are the rolls with bacon and egg, bacon and sausage...anything with bacon," said Brian. "If it’s cold and damp you want something hot.”

The Scotch Transport Cafe’s signature dish is its extremely popular breakfast in a box.

It has produced two versions; an English one and a Scottish one, the latter a favourite with passing Scots holidaymakers and lorry drivers.

Mr Vaughan travels up to Scotland to source the best, authentic ingredients for his Scottish breakfast. Both versions are packed with mouth-watering hot, cooked food and sold for £4.

Some of the Scotch Transport Cafe’s high-profile customers have included former Liberal Party leader MP David Steel, Mark Owen from Take That and The Krankies.

Mr Vaughan, who served in the Royal Navy for 25 years before taking over the popular pit-stop, spotted the site when it was a vandalised construction of four walls and a roof. Now he has turned it into a thriving business with a loyal following.

“When I first saw it, it was literally just four walls – there were no entrances or exits,” he explained.

“People had vandalised it so much the council boarded everything up. I couldn’t even see inside it. But my wife and I could see it would make a nice picnic area so we tendered for it and got it.”

The guide features cafes, restaurants, pubs and gourmet mobile food vendors, reviewed by a panel of van-driving men and women, who looked at more than 1,000 UK eateries.

It was compiled by MORE TH>N Van Insurance after its research revealed 61 per cent of the nation’s van drivers were shunning motorway service stations in favour of more affordable, fresher food. Other winners included The Olive Branch in Leicester and a number of farm shops.

Mr Vaughan said he had no plans to change his winning formula: “I absolutely enjoy my job. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. I was very lucky to land here. I’m just going to keep going and serve people as long as I can.”