Berry to leave Ludlow on a high after ‘top shop’ award
Edward Berry capped his four-year stint as MD of Ludlow Food Centre by picking up the Shop of the Year award at the 2015 Great Taste ‘Golden Forks’ dinner last night (September 7).
The award is voted for by Great Taste award-winning food and drink producers, who nominate the shops they feel most deserve recognition for their professionalism, knowledge and dedication to the independent food sector.
A shortlist of 10 shops is then visited by the Guild of Fine Food’s panel of retail experts.
Ludlow Food Centre was opened in 2007 on the Earl of Plymouth’s Oakly Park Estate at Bromfield, and was among the first destination shops to feature artisan food production units alongside its retail and restaurant offer.
It now employs 80 staff, and around half the food it sells is produced on-site.
Berry has run the Centre since 2011 but announced last month he will be leaving as soon as a successor can be appointed. With a long career spanning the hospitality, retail, wine and tea sectors – including running his own café-delis – he is moving to Dorset, and aims to work on development projects for other independent retailers and speciality food companies.
Great Taste’s judges were impressed with the “clearly very, very local” produce throughout the Ludlow Food Centre and said the in-store cheese dairy, butcher, baker, preserves maker, coffee roastery and ice-cream maker presented “a wonderful insight into artisan food production”.
The staff’s knowledge, customer engagement and “creative selling”, particularly on the cheese and butcher’s counters, were also commended.
The Great Taste Shop of the Year trophy, sponsored by Hotel Indigo, was presented to Berry by Simon Burdess, a former food chief at Fortnum & Mason who is now vice-president for food & beverages at Indigo’s owner, IHG.
Runners-up for the 2015 title were Macknade Fine Foods in Faversham, Kent, and Whole Foods Market, Kensington.