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, five from London are in the running to win in the following categories: Delicatessen & Grocer and Specialist Food or Drink Shop.
Having had a written entry reviewed by a panel of respected industry experts, these retailers, which include Peckham-based Persepolis, purveyors of Persian foods, Bottle Bar and Shop in Catford, which makes small batch bottled cocktails and infusions, and The Battersea General Store, 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.
Shop of the Year finalists from London:
Eat 17 Hammersmith – Delicatessen & Grocer
The Battersea General Store – Delicatessen & Grocer
Andreas of Chelsea Green – Specialist food or drink shop
Bottle Bar and Shop – Specialist food or drink shop
Persepolis – Specialist food or drink shop
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.