Britain’s top producers name Marks Tey store ‘shop of the year’
Essex food hall and eatery The Food Company has been named Great Taste Shop of the Year 2013 – the first time a retailer has been recognised in the Great Taste scheme.
Emma Fews of The Food Company, is pictured collecting the trophy from (l-r) awards organiser John Farrand of the Guild of Fine Food, Duncan Hider of Hider Foods and Graham Stoodley of Dell’Ami. Distributors Hider and Dell’Ami co-sponsored the new trophy.
Announced at the Great Taste Golden Forks dinner in London on September 9, the new award is unique in being based on nominations from award-winning speciality food producers rather than consumer votes.
John Farrand said: “We wanted producers of Great Taste award-winning food and drink to be central to the nomination process – they, after all, are working with fine food retailers every day.”
During August, Great Taste winning producers were asked to name the best shops in the sector. The highest ranking delis, farm shops and food halls then received unannounced visits from retail experts to be judged on the “customer experience”.
Judges felt that the winner, based close to the A12 in Marks Tey, excelled in all areas. “The Food Company was praised for the provenance of its food, customer service, accessibility and information, sensible prices and the enthusiasm of every person in the team,” said Farrand
A close runner-up was Gonalston Farm Shop in Nottinghamshire, which was recognised both for its customer service and for the quality of its fresh produce and meat offer.
The third finalist Macknade Fine Foods in Faversham, Kent, was praised for its cheese and charcuterie counters and its knowledgeable staff.
The Guild of Fine Food has run a number of initiatives over the past 20 years to honour the best food shops in Britain, but this is the first year such as scheme has been linked to Great Taste.
“Simply put, the very best producers in the UK nominated the very best shops in the UK, ” Farrand said.