The Guild of Fine Food’s annual Shop of the Year awards, an accreditation scheme which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, has announced its finalists for 2020. Among the 36 independent retail outlets named, Indie Füde, a deli based in Comber, has been shortlisted in the Delicatessen & Grocer category for the third consecutive year.
Having had a written entry reviewed by a panel of respected industry experts, Indie Füde, which sells small batch artisan products made in Ireland, will now undergo two further rounds of judging; an announced visit from one of the judges and a mystery shop carried out by Insight6. Shop of the Year 2020 will reach its exciting finale on Monday 9 March when the world of fine food gathers at Fodder Farm Shop and Café in Harrogate to find out the winners of each category, immediately following Fine Food Show North, the Guild of Fine Food’s trade-only exhibition held at the Yorkshire Event Centre.
From overall shopping experience and financial performance to staff training opportunities and environmental initiatives in place, the panel of judges, which includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, former managing director at Fortnum & Mason and senior buyer at Harrods, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and food writer, Patrick McGuigan, will rate, score and provide feedback on every aspect of the shops before agreeing on an overall category winner. A Newcomer Award will be given to a worthy category entrant that has been trading for less than two years and any entrants considered to be leading the way with new ideas will be put forward for the Innovation Award.
Facts and figures about Shop of the Year 2020:
• Shop of the Year recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail
• Previously forming part of the Great Taste accreditation scheme, Shop of the Year is now a standalone accreditation, offering independent retailers a recognised stamp of approval from industry experts
• Shop of the Year is judged by a panel of experts with a proven track record of success in independent retail
• Insight6 provides valuable feedback, through the eyes of the customer, in an unannounced visit to each finalist
• There are five categories:
o Delicatessen & Grocer
o Specialist Cheese Shop
o Farm Shop (farmer owned)
o Food Hall
o Specialist Food or Drink Shop