During October we ran our nomination campaign inviting customers and suppliers to nominate their local specialist retailer and tell us why they should enter the Awards.
We received an amazing 880 nominations covering nearly 380 individual retailers!
The Awards team will now be in touch with all our nominated retailers to invite them to complete an entry into the Awards.
We also ran a prize draw for one lucky person to win a Fortnum & Mason hamper and congratulations go to Elizabeth Chase for her nomination of Rafters of Driffied, here’s what she said:
“Phenomenal level of support for the community during the pandemic. They have organised local drop off points in villages to enable everyone to still get fresh fruit and vegetables without actually leaving the various villages. They also created a mixed box when ordering so it allowed people to access the best seasonal fruit and vegetables available. They are such an asset to our local community and will stop at nothing to ensure they are there for us. I personally cannot thank them enough for all they do.”
There were so many wonderful, heart-felt nominations we thought we would share just a few of them with you (there are far too many to mention them all)!
Take a look below at some of the heart-felt nominations received:
“Sarah from Barron’s Farm grabbed a tractor and trailer and loaded it with fruit veg and crisps bread and visited us all in the village during the lockdown when people couldn’t get out so often she is amazing she kept us all stocked up, she supported the elderly, payment was by card machine and plenty of hand sanitizer was available. Sarah still visits us and we would be lost without her.”
“Andreas has played a big part in making life easier during the lockdown he was a great help in delivering fresh produce daily to our door. Also, the whole team is very helpful and understanding. The atmosphere inside the store is very pleasant. From day one during the epidemic all precautions were observed. I’ve dealt with them for years and never had any problems.”
“Going from 1 full time employee to 10 to keep up with demand, Bert’s employed those who'd lost their income overnight plus raising money to send food hampers to NHS staff in local hospitals. They provided a life-line to the local community in a time of great need, turned a negative into a positive, creating a greater sense of community spirit & supporting local businesses and suppliers. We're so proud of them!”
“Blasus Deli developed a delivery service for customers who were unable to visit the shop personally and delivered food hampers for the elderly who are shielding or in old peoples homes. All these initiatives have been welcomed by the local community.”
“Blofield farm shop were fantastic to the community during Covid 19. They delivered to any members of the community, send out Facebook messages daily, offer their dog to anyone that’s fancies a walk. The carry shopping to the car, have chairs outside allowing elder people to sit while they wait. They setup a donation for the NHS that they agreed to match and so much more!”
“Staff at Briddlesford Farm Shop’s processing plant worked around the clock producing IOW Milk during the panic buying, which replaced milk products in Southern Co-op’s convenience stores to free up space in delivery vehicles for other essential products to get transported onto the island.”
“Broad Bean kept going under extreme circumstances. Ludlow has an older, more vulnerable population, and going physically to the supermarket simply wasn't an option for them. Ian sorted out a delivery service for those who couldn't get into town. He took orders online, which he has never had to do before, and packed them up so you could collect them from the door- no need to risk going into the shop. I am almost certain that he couldn't have been turning a profit during those months, but he bloody well kept on going, and our community was at the forefront of his mind. Not only that, but he had a smile on his face every damn day!”
“The owners of Brownlie's of Biggar, Donna and Bruce Morgan, continually go above and beyond to support their customers, staff, suppliers and local community but their reaction when Covid lockdown began in March 2020 has been outstanding. Despite having 2 children they worked different shifts to allow the shop to be open 24 hours a day. Donna worked during the day to ensure the smooth running of the shop and Bruce worked during the night to ensure everywhere within the shop was deep cleaned/ disinfected, orders placed from suppliers, customer orders prepared and shelves restocked.”
“Country Garden quickly organised a drop of 2,000 leaflets promoting their new delivery service. On their very first day they had 30 deliveries to make which all had to be done ‘after hours’ as they didn’t have enough staff to tend their shop as well as drop orders off. They made their last delivery at 9.30pm, using two vans heading in opposite directions across a 10-mile radius to make sure everybody got what they had ordered!”
“Cuculo deli set up a delivery service that still continues and have recently got involved in the Marcus Rashford campaign for lunches for children during half term. This deli is a little treasure trove of loveliness, passion for food and wine and I feel very lucky to have them locally.”
“Damn Delicious farm shop continued to trade and make available home delivery or click and collect. I received deliveries in the Scottish Borders. Their standards remained high, as did the supply, most of which have a stress free life on their farm. I know the demand was very high and they met the demand with a friendly safe service. Animal welfare is at the heart of their vision and natural forage is available all year round making happy healthy beasts. They continued to trade with suppliers meaning those supplier's livelihood was maintained.”
“Delivery and click & collect of ready meals, all food sold in shop was made immediately available when lockdown began. There was never any question of being too busy, or "no slots available". COVID hasn't left us - but when it does, my family and I will not be leaving Denstone Hall Farm Shop!”
“Fittleworth Stores totally turned around their normal function ie providing a community shop and cafe during lockdown. They shut the cafe and provided deliveries from the shop through a huge range of volunteers to those of us who were staying in. They organised click and collect from the village hall nearby. It is a tremendous asset to the village and one we all feel responsible and connected to.”
“While making sure their amazing deli remained safe for customers to visit, Forest Deli also provided a delivery service to those shielding and self isolating. They also collaborated with other local food shops to deliver their goods to customers unable to get to them. They have been a beacon of reassurance and hope during this tough time. An amazing team and an amazing shop.”
“What J Waterhouse & Son did in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is extraordinary. Within a week a system of delivery and help with shopping was established entirely by volunteers who were local and unpaid. At the same time they managed to become 95% plastic free. Essentially greengrocers, they already had a small area for dispensing cleaning products, but this was expanded to include food products. The shop has expanded and thriving during difficult times and very ably responded to the need of local people, particularly the elderly. All this with personal human touch. A real gem and local hero!”
“Jamie’s Quality Butchers have been at the heart of the community before this pandemic, however when ‘lockdown’ began, he offered a phone and collect and a delivery service to those who were unable to collect due to being in isolation, shielding etc. Jamie and his team have been incredible and they have worked very long hours to ensure that customers were still able to purchase what food they needed.”
“Lydford Farm Shop is just a fantastic local service to isolated people during lockdown. Delicious food and couldn’t have been more pleasant. My husband spent lockdown nearby and I know getting his weekly delivery was a highlight. Very sadly he died suddenly at the end of lockdown and wasn’t able to open the door for his last delivery. I called by the shop afterwards to pay for it but they said I didn’t need to which was so nice. Though I did anyway as he would have wanted that. The staff are always friendly and welcoming. In short everything a local shop should be.”
“Origin Fine Foods Deli have gone above and beyond, changing their whole range and ethos to support a village. Delivering to the vulnerable. Working non stop hours. Delivering for the local fish shop to help them stay a float. All you need to do is look at there Facebook to see how much they did, literally the heart of Clayton.”
“Pauls Greengrocer are regular suppliers to many people, operating an online or telephone order system, delivery of groceries and, importantly, all at normal prices. There's been no price inflation. It's small efforts like this that make a big difference - to people, our planet and the community.”
“The John Muir Country Store team arranged delivery to the Edinburgh area, as well as to those of us just outside who know her from the Fife Farmer's Markets. She would get in touch by email to ask what I needed, then let me know where & when she was planning to be in the area. This was a wonderful lifeline. Seeing someone with a cheerful smile & warm personality was welcome. I’m sure that I'm not the only person who values their support while the Fife Farmer's Markets were shut.”
“Overnight The Post Box Deli went from a small family run deli and cafe to a village lifeline for many in the local community. Rachel the owner linked up with other local businesses to supply essential daily goods, e.g., the local greengrocers and worked closely with the Thorner Cares Charity to support the vulnerable groups, providing a delivery service for all those who were shielding and isolating. She used her initiative and set up an online ordering system so that customers could place orders at any time. In a time of mayhem Rachel managed to keep her cool, stay organised and reach out to her customers to find out what they needed supplying.”
“During the lock down World of Fish set up a delivery service for those people who had to isolate (do not normally deliver) there was no charge for this and they covered a wide area of north and south Lowestoft. This was very much appreciated.”
“This excellent farm shop greatly expanded their online range including delicious meals and deli foods. Applegarth Farm offer delivery and click & collect services which are well thought through, safe, friendly and efficient. They are great supporters of local produce and also do a hot food takeaway. They’ve worked hard to keep their staff and suppliers in employment, their community served and their customers happy!”
A massive thank you to all the customers and suppliers who completed an online nomination for their local retailer.
Congratulations to all those retailers who were nominated and we hope to see an entry from you soon!
Whether you were nominated or not, if you're a specialist retailer with a story to share please enter the Awards before 31st December by clicking on the button below: