South west indies in Shop of the Year final

FOUR independent retailers from the South West are among the 42 businesses shortlisted in the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year 2018.

The four shops are shortlisted in the categories for Best Delicatessen and Best Farm Shop or Garden Centre with Food Hall. The awards are run by the Gillingham-based Guild of Fine Food as an accreditation scheme which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail.

Entrants submit a written entry which is reviewed by a panel of respected industry experts. The finalists undergo two further rounds of judging during the summer, with an announced visit from one of the judges and a mystery shop by Shopper’s Anonymous.

The Delicatessen finalists are Bloomfields Fine Food at Highworth in Wiltshire, and Fillet & Bone of Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire. Shortlisted for the Farm Shop or Garden Centre with Food Hall award are Newton Farm Foods, of Newton St Loe near Bath and Tortworth Estate Shop at Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire.

Shop of the Year was originally part of the Great Taste accreditation scheme, but has evolved to become a rigorous and robust judging process dedicated solely to retail. The panel of judges includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, and award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop.

The finals of the competition take place on Thursday 20th September, at No. 42 Southwark Street, the Guild of Fine Food’s London base. The other categories are Best Grocer, Village or Community Shop; and Best Specialist Cheese Shop.