Hunters of Helmsley named Britain’s Best Small Shop

L to r: Andrew Goddard (PayPoint); Christine and Chris Garnett; Simon Danczuk

L to r: Andrew Goddard (PayPoint); Christine and Chris Garnett; Simon Danczuk

Hunters of Helmsley, a family-run delicatessen in the famous market town in Yorkshire, has been named Britain’s Best Small Shop.

The Nisa Local store in Toddington, Bedfordshire has been highly commended 

The Best Small Shops Competition, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Small Shops and sponsored by PayPoint, the leading multi-channel payments specialist, celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and community ethos that is so typical of small shops in the UK.

More than 320 small shops from all corners of the country were nominated for the award, covering every type of shop – from convenience stores and bookshops to opticians, chocolatiers, cycle shops, bakeries, toy shops, skateboard and snowboarding, music shops and many more. The owners of 20 small shops that made it into the shortlist were invited to a reception at the House of Commons on Wednesday, 25 February. Runners up were The Mainstreet Trading Company, a bookshop and café in the Scottish Borders, and Nisa Local, Toddington, a convenience store in Bedfordshire.

Speaking at the Awards, Andrew Goddard, retail director at PayPoint, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Best Small Shop Competition again this year. As I travel up and down the country visiting the many retailers in our network, I often take a look at what other shops are doing and am continually inspired by their innovation, entrepreneurialism, creativity and commitment. It is no coincidence that surveys constantly show that the nation’s favourite shopping destinations are those with a range of independent, small shops offering individuality and diversity.

“Hunters of Helmsley is a fantastic example of a small, family-run shop that’s everything that’s best in retailing, from its support for local producers to the attention given to every detail of the product range, merchandising and commitment to offering customers the best food and drink the world has to offer. Chris and Christine Garnett, along with all their staff, are worthy winners of this award.”

Simon Danczuk MP, chair of the All-Party group, added: “Small shops really are the backbone of Britain, providing essential services for local people and creating jobs in their communities. I think it is right that Parliament acknowledges the vital role small shops play and seeks to recognise and reward the very best small shops across the country.

“Smaller retailers are often hugely influential in their local areas and provide the anchors for communities up and down the country. Small retailers have a connection with their customers that is much more personal and valuable than big chain shops, and I know many people really value this connection. Not only this, but there are countless examples of small retailers contributing to local projects, or helping out their neighbours on the high street.”