Awards are important to us. Not just the ones we win, but the ones we enter, the ones we sponsor and the ones we help judge.
We have been fortunate enough to pick up a number of awards since we began retailing in 1979, but the awards themselves are not necessarily what drive our involvement.
Of the awards we’ve won, there are two very different types – those that ask for an application and those that do not. Both of these have equal value to us, but in completely different ways.
When there is an application for us to complete, it allows us to assess our strengths and weaknesses, looking at ways to do better for our customers, suppliers and staff. And, when there is no application, it is satisfying to know that our customers have voted for us with no prompts and no encouragement, and that they genuinely love shopping with us.
On a community level, we have evolved to the point where we are now able to sponsor awards and events too. This allows us to support the growth of smaller, local businesses that have similar ambitions and values, as well as other organisations in our area.
On top of that, as a leading independent food and drink retailer, we have also been given the opportunity to contribute to the judging of certain awards, including the Great Taste Awards and World Cheese Awards.
These are prestigious awards of national and international acclaim, and introduce us to new producers, suppliers and products, with the end goal to make every customer’s experience better. It also gives us the chance to try plenty of great food and drink, and who can say no to that?
Speaking of great food and drink, a number of our existing suppliers have also been recognised for awards including Ellie’s Dairy (a goat’s cheese producer just down the road), whose ‘Shaggy’s Beard’ camembert was awarded Best Goat’s Cheese in Show at the International Cheese Awards. We wouldn’t be an award-winning retailer if it weren’t for the award-winning produce we stocked!