Independent retailers from the North of England named finalists in Shop of the Year 2019
The Guild of Fine Food’s annual Shop of the Year awards, an accreditation scheme which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, has announced its finalists for 2019. Out of the 45 independent retail outlets named, seven from the North are among those in the running to win in the following categories: Delicatessen & Grocer, Specialist Food or Drink Shop, Farm Shop (farmer owned), Food Hall and Specialist Cheese Shop.
Having had a written entry reviewed by a panel of respected industry experts, these independent retailers, which include Gateshead-based Block & Bottle, the UK’s first dedicated free range butcher and craft beer shop, George & Joseph Cheesemongers in Leeds and Minskip Farm Shop in Boroughbridge, will now undergo two further rounds of judging; an announced visit from one of the judges and a mystery shop carried out by Insight6. Shop of the Year 2019 will reach its exciting finale on Monday 11 March when the world of fine food gather at Fodder Farm Shop and Café in Harrogate to find out the winners of each category, following Fine Food Show North, the Guild of Fine Food’s trade-only event.
North of England’s Shop of the Year finalists:
George & Joseph Cheesemongers, Leeds – Specialist Cheese Shop
The Cheese Hamlet, Manchester – Specialist Cheese Shop
Delifonseca Dockside, Liverpool – Food Hall
Farmer Copleys, Pontefract – Farm Shop (farmer owned)
Minskip Farm Shop, Boroughbridge – Farm Shop (farmer owned)
Blacker Hall Farm Shop, Wakefield – Farm Shop (farmer owned)
Block & Bottle, Gateshead – Specialist Food or Drink Shop
From overall shopping experience and financial performance to staff training opportunities and environmental initiatives in place, the panel of judges, which includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, former managing director at Fortnum & Mason and senior buyer at Harrods, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and food writer, Patrick McGuigan, will rate, score and provide feedback on every aspect of the shops before agreeing on an overall category winner.
- Shop of the Year recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail
- Previously forming part of the Great Taste accreditation scheme, Shop of the Year is now a standalone accreditation, offering independent retailers a recognised stamp of approval from industry experts
- Shop of the Year is judged by a panel of experts with a proven track record of success in independent retail
- There are five categories:
- Delicatessen & Grocer
- Specialist Cheese Shop
- Farm Shop (farmer owned)
- Food Hall
- Specialist Food or Drink Shop