Britain's Best Small Shop Revealed
Posted on in Business News
Twenty of Britain's Best Small Shops descended on Parliament on the 25th February to see who had been crowned the overall Best Small Shop in the UK.
The Best Small Shops Competition, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Small Shops celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and community ethos that is so typical of small shops in the UK.
More than 320 small shops from all corners of the country were nominated for the award, covering every type of shop - from convenience stores and bookshops to opticians, chocolatiers, cycle shops, bakeries, toy shops, skateboard and snowboarding, music shops and many more.
The owners of 20 small shops that made it into the shortlist were invited to a reception at the House of Commons on Wednesday, 25th February.
Simon Danczuk MP, Chairman of the All Party Small Shops Group, revealing the winner, said: "I am pleased to announce that Hunters of Helmsley, a delicatessen in North Yorkshire, is the Winner of the Best Small Shop Competition 2015 (pictured right collecting the award). Hunters of Helmsley was chosen by the judges for its local sourcing of produce, organisation of events to support their high street and their use of social media to engage customers."
Hunters of Helmsley was established in 1990, and has been owned since 2008 by Chris and Christine Garnett. They both come from Yorkshire farming families, and state they are passionate about how and where food is produced.
The Judges also gave highly recommended awards to NISA Local, Toddington, a convenience store, and The Main Street Trading Company, a bookshop and delicatessen in St. Boswells.
Speaking at the Awards, Andrew Goddard, retail director at PayPoint, said: "We are delighted to be sponsoring the Best Small Shop Competition again this year. As I travel up and down the country visiting the many retailers in our network, I often take a look at what other shops are doing and am continually inspired by their innovation, entrepreneurialism, creativity and commitment. It is no coincidence that surveys constantly show that the nation's favourite shopping destinations are those with a range of independent, small shops offering individuality and diversity.
"Hunters of Helmsley is a fantastic example of a small, family-run shop that's everything that's best in retailing, from its support for local producers to the attention given to every detail of the product range, merchandising and commitment to offering customers the best food and drink the world has to offer. Chris and Christine Garnett, along with all their staff, are worthy winners of this award."
Simon Danczuk MP, chair of the All-Party group, added: "Small shops really are the backbone of Britain, providing essential services for local people and creating jobs in their communities. I think it is right that Parliament acknowledges the vital role small shops play and seeks to recognise and reward the very best small shops across the country.
"Smaller retailers are often hugely influential in their local areas and provide the anchors for communities up and down the country. Small retailers have a connection with their customers that is much more personal and valuable than big chain shops, and I know many people really value this connection. Not only this, but there are countless examples of small retailers contributing to local projects, or helping out their neighbours on the high street."
The Judging Panel said: "We were impressed and delighted by both the number and calibre of the submissions from retailers for the Award. We were all humbled by their energy, impressed by their commitment and in awe of the extent to which the best are embedded in their communities. There is no doubt that independent retail is in the hands of creative, innovative, business-savvy individuals who are committed to making their local high street a better place. We congratulate all the shortlisted businesses and thank all the retailers who took the time to showcase their shops."
The judging of the Best Small Shops Competition took place throughout February 2015 and was based on the shop's entrepreneurial activities, their work within the community and innovation in their business. The Best Small Shops Competition is sponsored by PayPoint and Tictail and administered by the Independent Retailers Confederation.
The shortlisted candidates for the Best Small Shops Competition are listed below and further information is available at www.bestsmallshops.uk.
- Belhaven Bikes, Dunbar, East Lothian
- Booka Bookshop, Oswestry, Shropshire
- Cocoa Amore, Leicester, Leicestershire
- Elite meat, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
- Heath Stores Horsmonden, Tonbridge, Kent
- Hunters of Helmsley, Helmsley, North Yorkshire
- Ilsington Village Shop, Ilsington, Devon
- Jet Wheel Tyre, Benfleet, Essex
- Kirkcowan Cycles, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway
- Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath, North East Somerset
- Nisa Local Toddington, Toddington, Bedfordshire
- Observatory The Opticians, Beccles, Suffolk
- Piccola Italia, Worthing, West Sussex
- SS20, Oxford, Oxfordshire
- The Bakers' Table, Talgarth, Powys
- The Book Nook, Hove, East Sussex
- The Mainstreet Trading Company, St Boswells, Roxburghshire
- The Music Exchange, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
- Village Greens, Charlesworth, Derbyshire
- Wise Owl Toys, Worcester, Worcestershire
The Best Small Shops Competition is run by the All Party Parliamentary
Small Shops Group and administered by the Independent Retailers
Confederation. Thank you if you were one of the hundreds of small shops
that entered the competition, reflecting the width of choice and service
available via indie retailers throughout the UK.
Proudly sponsored by PayPoint and Tictail, The Best Small Shops Competition celebrates the economic powerhouse represented by small retailers in the UK economy.