We are proud to be crowned the North East Winners in the prestigious Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards 2021.
The winners of the 2021 Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards have been announced. Judges have revealed their 9 Regional Winners and 30 Commended Retailers, chosen from a shortlist of 153 outstanding UK speciality retailers.
Jen Horton, who runs the Larder with her husband Bob, commented "We're delighted that the effort and dedication put in by the whole team at Corbridge Larder has been recognised on a national level. Our staff, local suppliers and our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we are proud of everyone that's involved in making the Larder a success."
One of the nine regions was North East, where the winning retailer was delicatessen Corbridge Larder. Here’s what the judges said: “Bit of a tear-jerker! I was so impressed with the support and outreach (especially the care homes and the families who got to cook together). The spirit this is written in is so lovely, not boastful or all about them, it is their kindness and consideration to the community and to their staff.”
The announcement was broadcast via social media over 2 days, following the postponement of the flagship Farm Shop & Deli Show due to the Covid-19 restrictions. On Monday afternoon, 5th July, the 39 Commended Retailers were announced by region. And, to build anticipation, they were informed that one listed retailer from each region would find out they had won by receiving a Winners Award package the following day by courier.
On Tuesday afternoon these winners were then revealed to all on Social Media, with a video from Nigel Barden, Chair of Judges, sharing why the judges had crowned them the Regional Winners.
The 2021 Retailer Awards, held in partnership with The Grocer and sponsored by Garofalo and Food & Drink Wales, changed the judging criteria this year to shine the spotlight on those retailers who deserve recognition for their courageous commitment shown to their customers, community, staff & suppliers. Therefore, the 2021 winners were selected from ‘Best in Region’, rather than the traditional categories from previous years.
The difficult decision on who to crown as Regional Winners fell to broadcaster, journalist and judges’ chair Nigel Barden. He was joined by a panel including food writer and co-chair Elaine Lemm, Editor at British Baker, Amy North, Hero Hirsh, Branch Manager at Paxton & Whitfield, Fresh Foods Reporter for The Grocer, Henry Sandercock and Andy Swinscoe from The Courtyard Dairy and 2020’s Retailer of the Year award winner.
Looking at both the retailer’s online entry and customer nomination comments, the judges scored all shortlisted entries to determine the Commended Retailers, with the top scorers being crowned the Regional Winners.
Nigel said: “We are all aware that the past 15 months have been like no other and that the traditional retail world of food and drink has dramatically changed. The Farm Shop & Deli finalists have illustrated how crucial they are to their communities at a time when many consumers remained in their homes. This includes dedicated online businesses which have witnessed huge growth during these difficult times, and traditional retailers who increased their online offer.
But it’s the stories of innovation and imagination way beyond these that took our judges’ breath away. Florists who became greengrocers, farmers who loaded their trailers to deliver to the vulnerable, providing a human face and voice to the isolated. The food offer from our finalists has been sublime while the consideration of mental health and well being for customers and staff has been paramount. It has put independent retailers right back in the heart of their communities, with an increased appreciation from grateful shoppers. It’s been a privilege to read some of these stories and to now be able to tell the world about these remarkably dedicated people; the Farm Shop & Deli Awards Commended Retailer and Regional Winners.”