Top retailers announced at Shop of the Year awards
Papadeli, The Courtyard Dairy and Jarrold were among the winners at the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year awards 2020, announced in Harrogate, Yorkshire on Monday, 9th March.
Mezze, a Middle Eastern-inspired specialist food and drink shop in Waterford, Ireland, scooped the award in the newcomer category, while Farndon Fields of Market Harborough was judged to be the best farm shop in the nation.
Taking top honours in the specialist food or drink shop category was London-based Andreas of Chelsea Green.
After a team of experts spent months visiting finalists up and down the country on the hunt for the very best independent retailers, the winners were announced at Fodder Farm Shop and Café in Harrogate.
Two rounds of judging, including a scheduled visit from a judge and an unannounced mystery shopper, whittled down the entries to reveal the top retailers in each category.
Winner of the specialist cheese shop gong, The Courtyard Dairy demonstrated a “dedication to cheese with no compromise on sourcing,” said judges, and they also praised owner, Andy Swinscoe’s “sense of adventure” and ethos.
A family-run business opened in 1985 by Kevin and Milly Stokes, Farndon Fields impressed with its range of quality local products, and is, according to judges, a creative, vibrant and inspiring farm shop.
Andreas of Chelsea Green, winner of specialist food and drink shop category, was applauded for its “honesty, integrity and palpable passion”, while deli and grocer of the year, Papadeli, charmed the judges with its “general ambience” and range of homemade cakes.
Having been trading for less than two years, Mezze was commended for its “warmth” and the “passion” of owners Nicola and Dvir, as well as the diversity and quality of its offering, much of which is made on site, while Jarrold also received high praise for its own-brand products created by local producers.
The panel of judges, which included 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, rated, scored and provided feedback on every aspect of the shops before agreeing on overall category winners.
Shop of the Year 2020 winners and runners up
Delicatessen & Grocer sponsored by The Tracklement Company
181 Delicatessen, Edinburgh
Farm Shop (farmer owned) sponsored by Peter’s Yard
Farndon Fields Farm Shop, Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Robertshaw’s Farm Shop, Bradford, West Yorkshire
Food Hall sponsored by Le Gruyere AOP
Jarrold, Norwich, Norfolk
The Barn at Severn & Wye, Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire
Specialist Cheese Shop sponsored by Le Gruyere AOP
The Courtyard Dairy, Austwick, North Yorkshire
The Pangbourne Cheese Shop, Reading, Berkshire
Specialist Food or Drink Shop sponsored by Le Gruyere AOP
Andreas of Chelsea Green, London
Latimer’s Seafood, Whitburn, Tyne & Wear
Newcomer Award sponsored by Fine Food Digest
Mezze, Waterford, Ireland