UK’s independent food retailers crowned at Shop of the Year 2019
After an extensive countrywide search and judging process, the UK’s top independent food retailers have been crowned as the Shop of the Year 2019 concluded last night.
In total, seven trophies were presented at a ceremony held at Harrogate farm shop Fodder where fellow Yorkshire retailer Farmer Copleys took the title of Best Farm Shop and Aubrey Allen in Leamington Spa won the Delicatessen & Grocer competition.
Gateshead retailer Block & Bottle’s combination of butchery and craft beer secured the trophy in the Specialist Food or Drink Shop category, while Suffolk cheese shop Slate won the Best Newcomer award, which was sponsored by Fine Food Digest.
The Hammersmith branch of Eat 17 took the evening’s final award in the Innovation category.
All of the 45 finalists in this year’s competition had to pass through a rigorous process that included two rounds of judging – one was an announced visit from the Guild’s expert judging panel, the other was a mystery shop by customer experience specialists, Insight6.
This year’s judges included Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, former Fortnum & Mason MD Stuart Gates, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and food writer Patrick McGuigan.
Retailers were all rated and scored and detailed notes on every aspect of the shops – from overall shopping experience and financial performance to staff training and sustainability – were studied by the panel before agreeing on overall category winners.
Shop of the Year 2020 is now open for entry at gff.co.uk/awards/shop-of-the-year, with independent retailers across the UK invited to send a written submission for the following categories: Delicatessen & Grocer; Specialist Cheese Shop; Farm Shop (farmer owned); Food Hall; Specialist Food or Drink Shop.
Shop of the Year 2019 winners and runners up
Delicatessen & Grocer sponsored by The Tracklement Company
Aubrey Allen, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
The Mainstreet Trading Company, Roxburghshire, Scotland
Eat 17, Hammersmith, London
Farm Shop (farmer owned) sponsored by Peter’s Yard
Farmer Copleys, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Blacker Hall Farm Shop, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Ardross Farm Shop, Elie, Scotland
Food Hall sponsored by Le Gruyere AOP
The House of Bruar, Perthshire, Scotland
Macknade Fine Foods, Faversham, Kent
Specialist Cheese Shopsponsored by Le Gruyere AOP
Sheridans Cheesemongers, Dublin, Ireland
George & Joseph Cheesemongers, Leeds, West Yorkshire
Specialist Food or Drink Shop sponsored by Le Gruyere AOP
Block & Bottle, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
The Hungry Guest, Petworth, West Sussex
The Seasons Forest Row, Forest Row, East Sussex
Special Shop of the Year Awards
Newcomer Award sponsored by Fine Food Digest
Slate, Southwold, Suffolk
Innovation Award sponsored by Le Gruyere AOP
Eat 17, Hammersmith, London