Independent retailers from the South East 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, eight from the South East are among those in the running to win in the following categories: 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 Oxford-based Jericho Cheese Company, Macknade Fine Foods in Faversham, which has been in retail for nearly 40 years, and Petworth’s specialist food and drink shop, The Hungry Guest, 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.
South East Shop of the Year finalists:
Macknade Fine Foods, Faversham – Food Hall
Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop, Reading – Specialist Cheese Shop
Jericho Cheese Company, Oxford – Specialist Cheese Shop
The Seasons Forest Row, Forest Row – Specialist Food or Drink Shop
Organically Speaking, Wintney – Specialist Food or Drink Shop
The Hungry Guest, Petworth – Specialist Food or Drink Shop
Calcott Hall, Brentwood – Farm Shop (farmer owned)
Mill Farm Organic Farm Shop & Café, Alton – Farm Shop (farmer owned)
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